James Joseph Kearney Registered Rep Formerly with Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Has Been Sanctioned by FINRA for the Unauthorized Use of Discretion in Customer Accounts
Publicly available records recently provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) indicate that broker/advisor James Joseph Kearney (CRD # 265734), formerly with Houston, TX based Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (CRD # 705) was recently sanctioned by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement for the unauthorized use of discretion in customer accounts. The Law Office of Kevin J. Deloatch, Esq. is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Kearney.
Mr. Kearney had been registered in the securities industry since 1972 and had most recently been registered with Raymond James & Associates, Inc. from February 2013 to October 2018. His prior registrations included Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. (CRD # 4161) from November 2003 to February 2013 and Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated (CRD # 8158) from October 2000 to December 2003.
FINRA’s Finding and Conclusions
According to FINRA Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) dated November 14, 2019, Mr. Kearney consented to, without either admitting to or denying, the following findings by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement with regard to the unauthorized use of discretion in customer accounts at Raymond James & Associates, Inc.:
- Between November 2017 and May 2018, Mr. Kearney exercised discretion in effecting 200 trades in the accounts of 20 customers;
- Although Mr. Kearney discussed investment strategies with the customers regularly, he did not speak with the customers about the specific trades on the dates of the transactions;
- Mr. Kearney did not have prior written authorization from the customers to use discretion in their accounts;
- Raymond James & Associates, Inc. prohibited the exercise of discretion in brokerage accounts without written authorization and did not accept the customers’ accounts as discretionary;
- Mr. Kearney mismarked 47 of the orders as “unsolicited” and marked none of them as discretionary;
- Mr. Kearney’s actions of unauthorized discretion violated NASD Rule 2510(b) and FINRA Rule 2010; and
- Mr. Kearney’s actions also violated Section 17(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 17a-3 thereunder, and FINRA Rule 4511 and FINRA Rule 2010.
FINRA Sanctions James Joseph Kearney
As a result of such violations and in addition to the above described findings and conclusions, FINRA’s November 14, 2019 AWC also indicates that Mr. Kearney consented to the following sanction(s):
- A suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm in any and all capacities for a period 15 business days; and
- A $2,500.00 fine.
James Joseph Kearney has a History of Customer Complaints Regarding Securities Fraud
- On November 15, 2018 a customer filed a complaint with Raymond James & Associates, Inc., against Mr. Kearney alleging unsuitable investments, excessive trading and unauthorized trading, between April 1, 2011 and February 12, 2018. The complaint alleged damages in the amount of $225,000.00. The customer complaint was settled on January 17, 2019 in the amount of $50,000.00.
- On July 19, 1995 a customer filed a complaint with Cowen & Company against Mr. Kearney alleging unsuitable investments. The complaint alleged damages in the amount of $18,000.00. The customer complaint was settled on April 27, 2001 in the amount of $12,000.00.
- On July 9, 1991 a customer initiated arbitration was filed against Mr. Kearney alleging damages in the amount of $60,000.00 for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, violation of SEC 10(B), deceptive trade practices, breach of contract and negligence. The arbitration was settled on March 4, 1993 in the amount of $55,000.00.
If you or someone you know has or had a brokerage account with James Joseph Kearney and have concerns regarding losses in your investments or possible 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.