FINRA fined and suspended former Morgan Stanley broker Eric Nichols of the firm's Rolling Hills, California branch for settling a customer dispute away from and without disclosing to the firm.
According to AWC #2019061700301, Nichols (CRD #2710703) wrote checks to a customer totaling $28,000 to settle the customer's complaint alleging that Nichols' recommendations that a customer make investment in the preferred stock of one issuer resulted in significant unrealized losses, compounded by the issuer suspending its dividend payments.
The report states that after the client complained to stockbroker Nichols in August 2018, Nichols wrote two checks to the customer totaling $28,000 in September and October 2018, without disclosing these payments or attempt to settle the complaint to Morgan Stanley.
Morgan Stanley terminated Nichols in February 2019 after allegations that he may have executed transactions in non-discretionary accounts without confirming the trades beforehand, as well as for reimbursing a client "for an account-related issue."
A settled customer dispute in Nichols' file alleged unsuitable investments from 2015-2017, while a pending dispute similarly alleges unsuitability from 2016-2018.
If you have invested with former Morgan Stanley broker and licensed financial adviser Eric Nichols, or with any registered representative who has attempted to settle a complaint away from their firm, especially relating to realized or unrealized losses or unsuitable investment recommendations that have proven harmful to your financial wellbeing, please call our experienced FINRA arbitration attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.