The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Bill Downing. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Bill Downing has been the subject of multiple customer disputes.

Bill Downing was a Texas based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for thirty-one years. During his career, he was registered with nine different securities firms.

His Registrations

  • Shearson Lehman Hutton (1986-1989)
  • Rotan Mosle (1989-1991)
  • Painewebber Incorporated (1991-1995)
  • Morgan Keegan & Company (1995-2001)
  • A.G. Edwards & Sons (2000-2008)
  • Wells Fargo (2008-2010)
  • Merrill Lynch (2010-2012)
  • J.W. Cole Financial (2012-2017)
  • Coastal Equities  (2017-2018)

The Allegations

  • In October 2011, a customer alleged that Bill Downing recommended unsuitable securities. This case was settled for $162,500 in damages.
  • In July 2012, he was discharged from his position at Merrill Lynch. This was due to allegations that he incorrectly marked solicited trades as unsolicited, and that he exercised discretion in non-discretionary accounts.
  • In March 2018, a customer alleged that Bill Downing made unsuitable investment recommendations, engaged in unauthorized trading, and made material misrepresentations.
  • Also in March 2018, customers alleged that Bill Downing recommended unsuitable securities and executed excessive trades. This case was settled for $385,000 in damages.
  • In November 2018, a customer alleged that Bill Downing excessively traded their account. This case was settled for $80,000 in damages.

Excessive Trading

One of the most noteworthy allegations levied against Bill Downing was that he excessively traded his customers’ accounts. This often takes place when a securities broker wants to increase the amount they receive in commissions. Whenever securities brokers execute trades on their customer’s behalf, they receive a percentage of the principal investment as their commission for brokering the trade. Some less than scrupulous securities brokers will execute trades excessively with the express purpose of generating more commissions for themselves. This is a fraudulent practice also referred to as churning.

Oakes & Fosher Can Help

Many investors are unaware of the legal recourse available to them after losing money due to securities broker fraud and/or negligence. The truth is that investors who have lost money in this fashion may actually be entitled to damages. Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with Bill Downing, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. Oakes & Fosher handles cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.