FINRA award claims firm and broker Christopher D. Bennett mishandled retirement accounts.
According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a FINRA arbitration panel has awarded a client of J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons and broker, Christopher D. Bennett, $445,000 in compensatory damages.
The investor, Elizabeth Nickens, was awarded $195,000 more than what originally had sought in compensatory damages, but less than a final damage request for a total in excess of $900,000 — including compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees, interest, punitive damages and costs.
Nickens reportedly lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2015 and 2016 after two stocks Bennett bought on her behalf—oil-and-gas partnership Breitburn Energy and zinc and nickel miner Horsehead Holdings—filed for bankruptcy.
FINRA, in an award statement, stated the following causes of action: breach of fiduciary duty, unauthorized trading, suitability, churning, misrepresentation, omission of facts, common law negligence, fraud, failure to supervise, common law negligent supervision and violation of Kentucky statutes, regulations and FINRA rules.
The client alleged that Bennett, who has been with the firm since 1995, executed transactions in her qualified and non-qualified retirement accounts without authorizations; allocated her assets in an unsuitable manner for someone her age and with her investment objectives, without discussing the risks associated with such re-allocation; and engaged in excessive trading in her accounts.
The statement of claim was filed in March 2017.
According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Christopher D. Bennett has 6 customer disputes listed since 2016. Allegations include misrepresentation, suitability, and unauthorized trades.
Failure to Supervise
Brokerage firms are required to adequately supervise their advisors. They must ensure they are complying with FINRA rules.
When brokers abuse client accounts and conduct transactions that violate securities laws, the brokerage firm they are working with may be liable for investment losses. Brokerage firms that fail to monitor the business activities of their employees may be liable for investment losses due to negligent supervision for the misconduct of their employees.
The brokerage firms can be held responsible for any losses in a FINRA arbitration claim if it is determined that they failed to properly supervise their agent.
Are you concerned about investments you made with Christopher D. Bennett and Hilliard Lyons? If so, the attorneys at The White Law Group may be able to help you. For a free consultation with a securities attorney, please call (888) 637-5510.
The foregoing information, which is all publicly available, is being provided by The White Law Group.
The White Law Group is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida. For more information, please visit our website, www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.