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South Florida Broker Suspended By FINRA—Faces Complaints Over Breach of Fiduciary and Unsuitable Trading

Gregory Alan Ricker (CRD#: 1834893) is a former licensed broker and registered investment advisor. From 2009 to 2012, he was employed at National Securities Corporation. After that, he served as a securities representative for WestPark Capital in Boca Raton, Florida. Earlier this fall, Mr. Ricker was suspended indefinitely by FINRA after he failed to respond to a request for information from regulators—a sanction that was imposed after two separate investor complaints were raised against this broker.

Investor Complaints: Former WestPark Capital Financial Advisor Gregory Alan Ricker 

Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Failure to Supervise 

In March of 2019, a customer filed a complaint against financial advisor Gregory Alan Ricker alleging that substantial investment losses were suffered because of his breach of fiduciary duty and because of WestPark Capital’s failure to supervise him. In the claim, the investor is seeking $860,000 in financial compensation for his losses. As of November of 2019, the complaint is still listed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority as ‘pending’. For his part, Mr. Ricker denies all of the allegations raised by the investor.

Fiduciary relationships arise in scenarios where one party owes another party a heightened degree of care due to the inherent trust and reliance that is required. Under securities industry rules, registered investment advisors (RIAs) owe fiduciary obligations to their clients. If your financial advisor owes you a fiduciary duty, they must put your best interests first. When a fiduciary duty is breached and an investor suffers losses a result, a financial advisor can held liable. 

Unsuitable Trading and Broker Churning 

In July of 2019, a customer filed a claim against Gregory Alan Ricker alleging losses as a result of churning and unsuitable investments. According to information obtained through FINRA’s BrokerCheck tool, Mr. Ricker has settled the unsuitable investment claims for $22,000 in financial compensation.

Also commonly referred to as ‘excessive trading’, churning is a type of quantitatively unsuitable trading. Essentially, churning occurs when a financial representative makes an unreasonably frequent number of trades. As a result, the investor is forced to pay high commissions and fees.

A blatant example of churning would be an advisor moving client funds in, out, and back into the same stock within a single day. With each transaction, the investor has to pay fees. Yet, in the vast majority of cases, there would be no legitimate basis to make such a transaction.

In the worst cases, churning can make it all but mathematically impossible for an investor not to suffer deep financial losses. In effect, churning transfers money from an investor over to a broker or brokerage firm. 

Call Our Miami Investment Fraud Lawyer Today

At ​Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Miami investment fraud attorneys fight to hold negligent brokers and broker-dealers accountable. If you lost money as a result of breach of fiduciary duty or unsuitable trading, we can help. To set up a fully confidential assessment of your case, please contact our Miami law office today. We represent investors in South Florida and beyond.

Resource:

brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/1834893

https://www.carlson-law.net/sec-charges-issuer-and-ceo-with-fraud-and-violation-of-securities-industry-whistleblower-laws-sought-to-silence-complaints-by-investors/

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