Financial advisor Melvin Elwood Case (CRD# 2393464) has been suspended from the securities industry. According to publicly available information through FINRA, on January 19, 2018, Mr. Case, without admitting or denying FINRA Enforcement’s findings, consented to being barred from the securities industry in all capacities for a period of six months (the suspension is set to terminate on August 4, 2018).
Specifically, FINRA enforcement entered into a settlement via Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (“AWC”) with the Respondent, pursuant to which Mr. Case consented to a finding that he “willfully omitted to state a material fact on a Form U4, and that under Section 3(a)(39)(F) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934… this omission makes him subject to a statutory disqualification with respect to association with a [FINRA] member.” As disclosed by FINRA, Mr. Case pled guilty to a felony charge of exploitation of an aged adult on or about August 2016. It appears that final adjudication of guilt was withheld, and Mr. Case was placed on probation for a period of 24 months.
Based on his purported failure to report his criminal infraction to his employer, LPL Financial LLC (“LPL”) (CRD# 6413), Mr. Case was terminated by LPL on or about May 2, 2017. As disclosed through FINRA, Mr. Case’s termination by LPL concerned allegations of “criminal charges involving exploitation of an aged adult after converting the victim’s money for his own benefit.”
Mr. Case’s affiliation with the securities industry dates back to the early 1990’s, having worked as a registered representative for Pruco Securities, LLC (“Prudential”) (CRD# 5685) from September 1993 – August 2008. Thereafter, Mr. Case transitioned to a position with LPL in Jacksonville, FL, from July 2008 until his termination by LPL in May 2017. FINRA BrokerCheck indicates that Mr. Case has been named as a Respondent or otherwise involved in a total of four customer disputes, two of which resulted in settlement. Most recently, in August 2017, a customer dispute concerning allegations of misrepresentations, poor recommendations and fees resulted in a settlement in an amount exceeding the damages requested. Previous to that, in 2016, a customer case resulted in a settlement of $100,000.
FINRA has recognized that given the aging of the U.S. population, financial exploitation of seniors is a serious and growing problem. In fact, FINRA has recently adopted amendments to Rule 4512 and implemented new Rule 2165 in order to provide members with ways to better respond to situations in which seniors are falling victim to financial exploitation. FINRA firms like Prudential and LPL have an affirmative duty to ensure that their registered representatives are adequately supervised. As part of this mandate, brokerage firms must take reasonable steps to ensure that their financial advisors follow all applicable securities rules and regulations, including Rule 2165’s broad definition of ‘financial exploitation’ to include “the wrongful or unauthorized taking, withholding, appropriation, or use of a specified adult’s funds or securities.” In instances when brokerage firms fail to adequately supervise their registered representatives, they may be liable for losses sustained by investors.
The attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. have significant experience in representing investors who have sustained losses due to the negligence or misconduct of stockbrokers or investment advisors. Investors may contact a securities arbitration lawyer at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. at (866) 966-9598 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost, confidential consultation.