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Customers of Barred Broker Gabriel “Gabe” Block, Formerly of National Securities and Oppenheimer, May Have Arbitration Claims

Customers of barred broker or “financial advisor” Gabriel “Gabe” Block of Red Bank, New Jersey may have arbitration claims if Block caused the customers losses by recommending over-concentration of the customers’ accounts in stocks, excessive use of margin loans and/or trading in microcap stocks.

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Block (CRD No. 213543) is a former registered representative of First Standard  Financial Co. (“First Standard”) in Red Bank, New Jersey.  According to publicly-available information on FINRA Broker Check, Block is now suspended by FINRA as of January 2019, having failed to pay an arbitration award entered against him by his former employer.  Block has also twelve disclosures on his FINRA BrokerCheck report including three regulatory events and nine customer disputes.

According to publicly available documents, Block was the subject of a permanent bar by FINRA as of March 13, 2018.  In barring Block, FINRA discussed Block’s history of alleged misconduct and legal claims involving customers dating back to the 1990s.

Before being associated with First Standard, Block was associated with brokerage firm Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. (“Oppenheimer”) from November 2008 through March 2014.   In the order barring Block, FINRA stated that as a result of alleged misconduct that occurred partially while Block was with Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer entered into a consent order with the State of Delaware to settle allegations related to Block’s misconduct, which consent order imposed a fine and required that Oppenheimer revise its written supervisory procedures (“WSPs”).

Also according the FINRA order barring Block, in June 2015, a customer filed with FINRA an arbitration claim against Oppenheimer and another firm that alleged that Block churned the customer’s account and that the firms, among other things, negligently supervised Block.  The customer, then a 37-year-old widow who had received settlement funds as a result of her husband’s death,  reportedly settled the case with Oppenheimer for $675,000.

Block later moved on in March 2014 to National Securities Corp. (“NSC”) before departing NSC in or about April 2016 to join First Standard.

Among the many duties and responsibilities that brokers and brokerage firms owe to their clients are the duties to “conduct business with high standards of commercial honor” and “maintain just and equitable principles of trade” (FINRA Rule 2010).  In addition, FINRA’s often discussed ‘suitability rule’ (FINRA Rule 2111) mandates, in part, that a broker and his or her employer must seek to ensure that the purchase of a recommended security is in keeping with the customer’s risk profile and stated investment objectives.

NASD Rule 3010 and FINRA Rule 3110 also require brokerage firms such as First Standard, Oppenheimer and NSC to have a system in place to supervise the sales activities of their Registered Representatives.  These industry rules require that each member ensure that transactions with customers are reviewed and in certain instances approved by a Supervisor/Principal of the member.  Brokerage firms may be held liable by customers for failures to supervise that result in customer losses due to broker misconduct.

If you have invested with Gabe Block and have suffered losses, you may be able to recover your losses in FINRA arbitration.  Investors may contact a lawyer at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. at (866) 966-9598 or newcases@investorlawyers.net for a no-cost, confidential consultation.