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Saddled with Settlements, Kevin Yang Sanctioned for Unauthorized Discretion at Morgan Stanley

FINRA fined and suspended Kevin Chiagan Yang, formerly of Morgan Stanley's Pasadena, CA branch, for exercising discretion without written authorization. The disciplinary action follows several settled customer disputes alleging unsuitable recommendations and misrepresentation, including a decade-old suitability and misrepresentation settlement exceeding $16 million.

AWC #2017052993601

According to FINRA, Yang (CRD #2834317) exercised discretion in 13 Morgan Stanley accounts while associated with the Pasadena branch between 2013 and 2017, having failed to obtain prior written authorization from the customers to use discretion in their accounts.

Morgan Stanley discharged Yang in 2017 based on allegations that he failed to comply with the firm's pre-trade client confirmation requirement pertaining to non-discretionary accounts; the AWC confirms that the firm had not accepted the aforementioned accounts as discretionary.

In addition to the disciplinary disclosures, several customer disputes in 2015 and 2016 settled for a total of $527,500 and alleged that Yang made unsuitable recommendations and misrepresented the nature of several investments, including structured products and notes.

Click here to read more about the supervisory challenges firms face when dealing with structured products, including reverse convertibles.

In 2009, when he was associated with Merrill Lynch (also of Pasadena), Yang was the subject of a customer dispute concerning auction rate securities; this earlier client of Yang's had similarly alleged misrepresentation and unsuitability concerning the securities' safety and liquidity; the dispute was settled for $16.3 million.

If you have invested with southern California broker Kevin Chiagan Yang of Morgan Stanley, or with any representative or financial adviser who has unsuitably recommended, misrepresented, or engaged in discretionary trading or churning without your authorization or consent, 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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