The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the possible misconduct of former securities broker Brian Hussey. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Brian Hussey has been the subject of a FINRA sanction.

Brian Hussey was a Florida based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for ten years. He spent his entire career registered with Ameriprise Financial Services. He is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.

The Allegations

Brian Hussey was officially sanctioned by FINRA in May of 2018. The findings in this matter state that Brian Hussey allegedly recommended to a customer that she sell 100 percent of the mutual fund positions in her IRA accounts and subsequently invest the proceeds from the sale in marijuana penny stocks. Brian Hussey allegedly violated Ameriprise’s policies regarding soliciting transactions for penny stocks. Because of this, he allegedly mismarked these solicited trades as unsolicited.

When Ameriprise began investigating the matter, Brian Hussey allegedly moved the customer’s account to another securities firm, where he continued to engage in discretionary trading of her account by using her login information. Brian Hussey allegedly failed to disclose his use of discretion to either his member firm, or the third party firm where the new transactions were taking place.

Due to the customer’s age, limited liquid net worth, and lack of investment experience, the fact that he concentrated all of her assets in two thinly-traded penny stocks was incredibly unsuitable. Brian Hussey’s member firm settled this complaint for $67,019.24–an amount he has to repay. Due to his alleged actions he was suspended by FINRA for a period of seven months.

What Does This Mean?

Securities brokers have an obligation to their customers to always act in their best financial interests. A major part of this means obtaining their customers’ authorization before executing trades on their behalf. This is because investors are entitled to the opportunity to decide for themselves if they want to be invested in a particular security.

There is a trading practice known as discretion where securities brokers can execute trades in a customer’s account without having to obtain their authorization. Before a securities broker can begin exercising discretion, they must first receive express written permission from the customer and have their member firm accept the account in question as suitable for discretionary trading.

Discretion can be a very slippery slope as it gives securities brokers an excess of power. This power can often be abused, as it was in this situation. Brokers can use this power to make highly unsuitable trades in their customer’s account that would not have been approved by them had they needed to first obtain their authorization. The broker can also trade their customer’s account excessively which can cause the customer to incur substantial unnecessary fees and trading losses.

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 Brian Hussey, 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.