The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Kevin Yang. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Kevin Yang has been the subject of multiple customer complaints.
Kevin Yang was a California based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for seventeen years. During his career, he was registered with three different securities firms. He is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.
- Heartland Securities Corp. (1999-2003)
- Morgan Stanley (2003-2004, 2010-2017)
- Merrill Lynch (2004-2010)
- In April 2009, a customer alleged that Kevin Yang made material misrepresentations concerning the safety and liquidity of Auction Rate Securities. This case was settled for $16.3 million in damages.
- In November 2015, a customer alleged that his account had been misrepresented by Kevin Yang. The alleged transgressions taking place between 2013 and 2015. This case was settled for $65,000 in damages.
- In January 2016, customers alleged that Kevin Yang made unsuitable recommendations. The alleged transgressions taking place between 2011 and 2014. This case was settled for $405,000 in damages.
- In April 2016, customers alleged that Kevin Yang recommended unsuitable investments and made material misrepresentations. This case was settled for $57,500 in damages.
- In March 2018, Kevin Yang was officially sanctioned by FINRA. The findings in this matter state that he allegedly exercised discretion in approximately thirteen accounts held by nine member firm customers. He allegedly had not received written authorization from the customers to do so. The member firm also had not approved any of the accounts as suitable for discretionary trading. Due to these allegations, he was fined $5,000 and suspended from acting as a securities broker in any fashion for a period of 20 business days. He had been terminated from his position at Morgan Stanley on year prior when the allegations first came to light.
- In January 2019, a customer alleged that Kevin Yang executed unauthorized transactions concerning structured products. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.
- In January 2019, an attorney, on behalf of a customer, alleged that Kevin Yang made material misrepresentations concerning structured products. This case was settled for $40,000 in damages.
What is Discretion?
Securities brokers must always obtain their customers’ authorization before executing transactions on their behalf. While brokers have been hired to recommend suitable securities, they have not been given the right to make final decisions regarding what their customers are ultimately invested in. However, there is trading practice known as discretion where securities brokers like Kevin Yang can execute trades in a customer’s account without having to obtain the account holder’s authorization prior to the trade. However, before a securities broker can begin in this type of trading, they must first obtain express written authorization from the account holder, as well as have their member firm deem the account as one that is suitable for discretionary trading. However, discretion can be a very complicated matter. This practice gives brokers an excess amount of power that some less than scrupulous securities brokers choose to abuse. Brokers with discretionary trading authority can begin placing customers in investments that are highly unsuitable for them. They may also begin trading their customers’ accounts in a highly excessive manner. Both of these acts can be financially detrimental to 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 Kevin Yang, 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.