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Merrill Lynch Broker Jonathan Belden Fined & Suspended for Unauthorized Use of Discretion, Trading Restricted Security

FINRA suspended Jonathan Russell Belden, formerly a broker at Merrill Lynch's Oakland branch, for effecting at least 200 discretionary trades in client accounts without written permission to do so. Belden also allegedly mismarked several order tickets for trades of a restricted security as unsolicited when Belden had in fact solicited the trades.

AWC #2017055000501

According to the findings, Belden (CRD #5955909) executed more than 200 trades in accounts belonging to seven Merrill Lynch customers without written authorization and without the firm's permission; the report indicates that Merrill Lynch had not accepted the accounts as discretionary.

FINRA also found that in April 2017, Belden solicited trades in a security on Merrill Lynch's restricted list, and then mismarked the associated order tickets as unsolicited.

Investigators explained that because Merrill Lynch's electronic order system prohibited solicited orders of securities on the restricted list from processing without further review, Belden mismarked the trades as unsolicited in order to facilitate transactions in one of these restricted securities.

Merrill Lynch terminated Belden in July 2017 for "unauthorized trading in client accounts," and selected "Equity-OTC" as the associated product type.

Belden's BrokerCheck report indicates he is presently employed by TTP Advisors, LLC, of Walnut Creek, California.

If you have invested with ex-Merrill Lynch broker Jonathan Russell Belden or with any representatives or financial adviser who has engaged in unauthorized trading—discretionary, excessive, or otherwise—or who has solicited trades and mismarked them as unsolicited so as to bypass a compliance or other control system, and this misconduct has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.

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