Finra Bars Morgan Stanley Broker Who Has Cost Firm $2.5 Million…and Counting
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred a former Morgan Stanley broker in Miami who it said made over 1,200 unauthorized trades in customer accounts over a little more than three-and-a-half years, according to an acceptance and consent letter issued on Monday.
Between July 2012 and March 2016, Thomas Alan Meier made 1,290 stock trades in six customer accounts, none of which were discretionary, without their permission. The trades yielded him commissions of about $265,000, according to Finra. Customers lost $818,000 plus more than $2 million of unrealized losses.
Meier, whose 32-year career included stays at Smith Barney, Prudential Securities, Thomson McKinnon and Merrill Lynch, accepted the bar without admitting or denying the findings.
The settlement notice takes pains to note that Morgan Stanley “to date” has paid $2.5 million to settle 13 out of 14 customer complaints that caused it to file 21 amended Form U5 termination notices for Meier between April 5, 2016 and October 12, 2017.
Meier had resigned effective March 15, 2016, while “under internal review,” the initial U5 reported. The consent letter does not address whether any other individuals or supervisors have been sanctioned.
A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley said she could not immediately comment.
Meier, whose LinkedIn profile lists himself as a financial consultant, could not be reached for comment through his publicly listed phone number and did not respond to a message sent through LinkedIn.
The acceptance letter formally charged him with making more than 1,000 “unauthorized transactions in the account of six customers” and of exercising “discretion without written authorization and without the accounts being accepted as discretionary” for four other customers. In addition, he was charged with inaccurately stating on four annual compliance questionnaires that he did not have any accounts in which he transacted business on a discretionary basis.
Meier’s BrokerCheck history indicates that some of the $2.55 million of settlements with customers related to claims of misrepresentations and unsuitable energy-related investments, in addition to unauthorized trading. His record shows no “disclosure” events prior to March 2016.