Merrill Lynch Advisor Thomas Buck (Tom Buck)
According to reports this week, federal prosecutors are asking a judge to impose a 78-month prison sentence on Thomas Buck, the former Merrill Lynch broker who in 2018 pled guilty to one count of securities fraud and agreed to pay a $5 million penalty.
Buck’s sentencing hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.
Buck was Merrill Lynch’s top producer in Indiana for many years and a top-ranked Barron’s broker.
Buck reportedly admitted to securities fraud for overcharging clients $2 million in excessive commissions and for failing to recommend lower-priced fee-based accounts, according to the U.S. attorney.
In his guilty plea, Buck reportedly admitted that he had lied to Merrill Lynch by saying that he had discussed account options with certain clients when he had not. He also admitted to, on occasion, making trades for his clients without obtaining their approval.
Merrill Lynch fired Buck in March 2015, claiming “loss of confidence” in the 61-year-old after 34 years with the firm.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reportedly barred Buck from practicing in the securities industry in July 2015. According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Buck has 42 disclosure events listed on his Broker report, and 38 are customer disputes. Merrill has reportedly paid between $16,000 and $719,000 to settle 33 of those customer complaints.
The White Law Group continues to investigate the liability that Merrill Lynch may have for failure to properly supervise Thomas Buck.
Broker dealers have a fiduciary duty to monitor all the business transactions of their employees. When a broker violates securities regulations and the broker dealer is found to be liable for negligent supervision, the firm can be on the hook for investment losses.
If you have suffered losses investing with former Merrill Lynch financial advisor Thomas Buck, the securities attorneys at The White Law Group may be able to help you. Please call The White Law Group at 888-637-5510 for a free consultation.
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 Vero Beach, Florida.
For more information on The White Law Group, please visit our website at www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.