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Merrill Lynch Fined for Agent’s Unsuitable Trading

Securities fraud attorneys are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses as a result of doing business with Matthew Becker and Merrill Lynch. Consent orders against Becker and Merrill Lynch were recently announced by the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation. According to the orders, Matthew Becker was not properly supervised by Merrill Lynch and, as a result of this failure, he was able to engage in short-term trading that was unsuitable for his clients.

Merrill Lynch Fined for Agents Unsuitable Trading

According to stock fraud lawyers, the investigation began when one of Becker’s clients filed a complaint with the bureau. The complaint alleged unsuitable and excessive trading by Becker in the client’s account. Reportedly, it wasn’t until five months after the complaint was received by Merrill Lynch, in September 2010, that Merril Lynch required heightened supervision of Becker.

“After a thorough investigation and review by Bureau auditor William Masuck, we determined that there was a basis for the client’s complaint of excessive trading, especially with regard to mutual funds and structured products,” says Deputy Director of Enforcement Jeff Spill. “These kinds of investments are not suitable for frequent, short-term trading.”

Becker was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and Merrill Lynch was ordered to pay $80,000 in fines and investigation costs. Furthermore, Becker received a cease and desist order for the improper conduct and Merrill Lynch was censured. Securities fraud attorneys say the client was reportedly able to recover his losses from the unsuitable trading through an arbitration settlement.

Neither Merrill Lynch nor Matthew Becker admitted or denied the bureau’s allegations.

If you are a client of a Merrill Lynch agent and suffered significant losses as the result of unsuitable short-term trading in investments such as mutual funds and structured products, you may have a valid securities arbitration claim. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a stock fraud lawyer at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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