The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Brian Lawrence Stephan. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Brian Lawrence Stephan has been the subject of a FINRA sanction.
Brian Lawrence Stephan was an Ohio based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for eighteen years. During his career, he was registered with four different securities firms.
- Edward Jones (2000-2003)
- LPL Financial (2003-2014)
- Commonwealth Financial Network (2014-2017)
- American Wealth Management (2017-2019)
Brian Lawrence Stephan was officially sanctioned by FINRA in August 2018. The findings in this matter state that he allegedly recommended unsuitable investments for an 88 year old customer. He allegedly invested her in twenty different mutual fund families. These recommendations were highly unsuitable, because she would have been able to achieve a sizable discount on sales charges had Brian Lawrence Stephan concentrated her assets in fewer fund families. On multiple occasions, Stephan recommended she purchase a mutual fund for an amount that was just shy of the amount necessary for her to receive the discount. This was allegedly done so that Brian Lawrence Stephen could rack up her sales charges and increase the amount he would receive in commissions. Due to these alleged actions, Brian Lawrence Stephan was fined $10,000, forced to pay $29,430 in restitution, and suspended from acting as a securities broker in any fashion for a period of eight months.
What Does This Mean?
There are two main ways that brokers receive compensation for performing their duties. One is by charging investors a flat fee that is determined by the value of the account. The other is by charging investors a percentage of their principal investment whenever they execute a transaction on their behalf. This percentage acts as their commission for brokering the trade. This method of compensation can often lead to brokers recommending securities that are not suitable. This is because brokers might recommend securities to their customers, or institute trading strategies, based on what will provide them with the highest possible commissions as opposed to what is financially sound for the investor.
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 Lawrence Stephan, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation.