The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently announced that it has suspended William Bailey, a former NEXT Financial Group, Inc. broker of Mesa, Arizona, from the securities industry for two years for unsuitable and excessive trading of mutual funds and variable annuities. Bailey also engaged in discretionary trading without receiving prior written approval from his customers.
FINRA found that between January 2006 and December 2007, Bailey recommended 484 short-term mutual fund switch transactions in seven customer accounts. In each of the accounts, Bailey, on his customers’ behalf, repeatedly sold mutual funds less than one year after purchasing them, and purchased new mutual funds with the proceeds. With Bailey’s frequent switches, on average, his customers held their mutual funds for only 60 days. The seven customers, who ranged in age from 66 to 93 and were all unsophisticated investors, incurred over $147,000 in sales charges and trading fees. Bailey received over $120,000 in commissions from these sales. To facilitate his mutual fund trading scheme, Bailey frequently traded in his customers’ accounts without first obtaining their permission and improperly completed customer account forms to make it appear the customers approved of the trading.
FINRA also found that Bailey convinced three customers to switch their variable annuities for new ones after holding them for a short period of time. These exchanges were unsuitable based on the customers financial objectives and needs, and did not improve the customers’ financial situations.
In settling this matter, Bailey neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.
If you have questions about investments you made with Next Financial or Mr. Bailey, the securities attorneys of The White Law Group may be able to help.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.
For more information on The White Law Group, please visit our website at http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.