Effective March 13, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) imposed an industry bar against former financial advisor Gabriel “Gabe” Block (CRD# 2103543), of Rumson, New Jersey. FINRA Enforcement’s sanctions stem from a prior Administrative Consent Order (“Order”) entered into on or about June 25, 2015, between the State of Delaware Investor Protection Unit through its Director and Mr. Block’s then employer, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (CRD# 249, “Oppenheimer”).
The 2015 Order encapsulates findings of fact and allegations that Block made unsuitable investment recommendations to an investor that earned Mr. Block and Oppenheimer substantial brokerage commissions and fees of $867,900 on approximately $3,023,242 that the investor had invested with Oppenheimer.
Pursuant to the Order, Oppenheimer was assessed a fine of $685,000. The Delaware Investor Protection Unit found fault with Oppenheimer’s failure to take action, although the subject accounts reportedly appeared on a branch office compliance review report 23 out of the 24 months that the accounts were open.
Mr. Block’s career in the securities industry was lengthy, beginning in 1990, at which time he was affiliated with Merrill Lynch. Including Merrill Lynch, Mr. Block has been affiliated with ten different broker-dealers from 1990 until March 2018. Most recently, Mr. Block was affiliated with First Standard Financial Company LLC (“CRD# 16834) (“First Standard”) (2016-2018), National Securities Corporation (CRD# 7569) (2014-2016), and Oppenheimer (2008-2014).
According to FINRA BrokerCheck, Mr. Block has been subject to eight previous customer disputes, of which four resulted in settlement and two were closed due to no action.
Brokerage firms like First Standard, National Securities Corporation, and Oppenheimer have a duty to ensure that their registered representatives are adequately supervised. Brokerage firms must also take reasonable steps to ensure that their financial advisors follow all applicable securities rules and regulations, in addition to internal policies and procedures. In instances when brokerage firms fail to adequately supervise their registered representatives, they may be held liable for losses sustained by investors.
Attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. have represented investors in a number of cases involving unsuitable investments and investment strategies, excessive trading or churning, and alleged broker misconduct. Investors may contact a securities arbitration attorney by telephone at (866) 966-9598, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost, confidential consultation.