Publicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) indicate that broker/adviser, Christopher Duke Bennett (CRD # 2510231) was recently barred from the securities industry by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement. The sanction occurred as a result of an investigation into unauthorized trading and unsuitable investment recommendations while associated with J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC (CRD # 453/SEC # 801-23120,8-33133). The Law Office of Kevin J. Deloatch, Esq. is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Bennett.
Registration Background for Christopher Duke Bennett
Mr. Bennett first became registered in the securities industry in 1995 with Louisville, KY based J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC. He remained associated with the firm up until his termination in October of 2018.
FINRA’s Allegations against Christopher Duke Bennett
FINRA’s investigation led to Mr. Bennett entering into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with FINRA on July 31, 2020. According to the AWC, Mr. Bennett consented to, without either admitting to or denying, the following findings by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement:
- “On January 23, 2019, FINRA opened an investigation in response to an amended U5 filed by Hilliard Lyons on January 22, 2019, which identified a customer complaint alleging that [Mr.] Bennett had conducted trading in her account without her permission”;
- “FINRA’s investigation of [Mr.] Bennett expanded to include additional claims by other customers alleging similar misconduct, as well as allegations of unsuitable recommendations”;
- “In connection with its investigation, on March 27, 2020, FINRA staff sent a request to [Mr.] Bennett for the production of documents and information pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210”;
- “As his counsel stated to FINRA staff during a telephone call on May 14. 2020, and by this agreement. [Mr.] Bennett acknowledges that he received FINRA’s request dated March 27, 2020. and will not produce the documents and information at any time; and
- By virtue of the above, Mr. Bennett violated FINRA Rule 8210 and FINRA Rule 2010.
FINRA Sanctions Christopher Duke Bennett
As a result of such violations and in addition to the above described findings and conclusions, FINRA’s July 31, 2020 AWC also indicates that Mr. Bennett consented to the following sanction:
- A bar from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity.
Christopher Duke Bennett has a History of Complaints
In addition to the findings of FINRA’s Department of Enforcement, FINRA BrokerCheck for Mr. Bennett (page 16) reveals he has a history of customer complaint(s)/arbitration(s) including but not necessarily limited to the following:
- On March 22, 2017 a customer initiated an arbitration naming Mr. Bennet as a Respondent for acts that allegedly occurred while he was associated with J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC. The customer alleged Mr. Bennett executed transactions in her account without her authorization, allocated her assets in an unsuitable manner and engaged in excessive trading (“churning”) The customer further alleged that Mr. Bennett’s actions resulted in damages in the amount of $900,000.00. The arbitration resulted in the February 16, 2018 award in the amount of $445,000.00.
- On May 16, 2019 a customer initiated an arbitration naming Mr. Bennet as a Respondent for acts that allegedly occurred while he was associated with J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC. The customer alleged breach of fiduciary duty and unsuitable investment recommendations. The customer further alleged that Mr. Bennett’s actions resulted in damages in the amount of $139,214.00. The arbitration was settled on February 27, 2019 in the amount of $67,000.00.
- On September 1, 2016 a customer initiated an arbitration naming Mr. Bennet as a Respondent. The customer alleged unsuitability resulting in damages in the amount of $20,000.00. The arbitration was settled on February 12, 2019 in the amount of $15,000.00.
- On January 6, 2019 a customer initiated a written complaint against Mr. Bennett alleging unauthorized trading, unsuitability, overconcentration and churning. The customer alleged damages in the amount of $559,429.00. The complaint was settled on July 24, 2019 in the amount of $150,000.00.
If you or someone you know has or had a brokerage account with Mr. Christopher Duke Bennett and have concerns regarding losses in your investments or possible sales practice violations including fraud, you may be entitled to recover lost funds. The Law Office of Kevin J. Deloatch, Esq. has an extensive securities law practice and over 30 years of experience on Wall Street. Call today at (646) 792-2156 for a free consultation. The time to file your claim may be limited so you should call today to avoid delay.