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

Rusnak was an Illinois based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for thirty-one years. During his career, he was registered with four different securities firms. He is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.

His Registrations

  • UBS PainewebberInc. (1986-2002)
  • Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated (2002-2008)
  • Ameriprise Advisor Services (2008-2011)
  • Sigma Financial Corporation (2011-2017)

The Allegations

  • In December 2007, a customer alleged that Gregory Rusnak recommended unsuitable investments and charged them excessive commissions. This case was settled for $50,000 in damages.
  • In August 2017, a customer alleged that Gregory Rusnak recommended unsuitable investments. This case was settled for $155,000 in damages.
  • In January 2019, Gregory Rusnak was officially sanctioned by FINRA. The findings in this matter state that he exercised discretion in customers’ accounts without written authorization from the customers or by having his member firm accept any of the accounts as discretionary. Due to these alleged actions, he was fined $5,000 and suspended from acting as a securities broker in any fashion for a period of fifteen business days. Gregory Rusnak was previously terminated from his position at Sigma Financial Corporation in December 2017 when the allegations first came to light.

What Does This Mean?

Securities brokers do not have complete control over the accounts they manage. They are still required to obtain the account holder’s authorization before executing trades on their behalf. However, there is a trading practice known as discretion where securities brokers can execute trades on an investor’s behalf without having every single trade authorized. However, before a securities broker can begin engaging in any discretionary trading, they must first obtain express written authorization from the account holder. Verbal authorization is not sufficient in this matter as investors need to fully understand what it is exactly that they are agreeing to. The truth is that discretion can actually be a very slippery slope. It provides securities brokers with an excess of power that gives them ample opportunity to trade their customers accounts in a manner unsuitable for them.

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 Gregory Rusnak, 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.