James Mark McLaughlin (CRD #1925099, Westover, Alabama) recently submitted an AWC in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, McLaughlin consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he excessively traded customers’ accounts. The findings stated that McLaughlin recommended unsuitable short-term trading of A-share mutual funds in customers’ accounts, causing the customers to pay unnecessary mutual fund fees. McLaughlin received over $8,000 in commissions. McLaughlin did not have any reasonable basis to believe that the short-term trading of A-share mutual funds was suitable for his customers. The findings also stated that McLaughlin engaged in unauthorized trading in customers’ accounts. McLaughlin did so at least in part by placing trades in these customer’s accounts without having discussions with the customers about the trades prior to the transactions and without obtaining the customers’ authorization to place the trades. One customer verbally gave McLaughlin discretionary authority, but she did not provide him any written authorization to exercise discretion in her account. In addition, McLaughlin’s member firm had not approved and accepted the customer’s account as a discretionary account.
For the full FINRA findings, see FINRA Case #2012034584301.
According to his FINRA Broker Check, McLaughlin was registered with Securities America from 10/2000 – 10/2012.
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