The Stock Market Loss team of investigators with McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA, currently is reviewing claims against suspended broker John E. Burns, formerly of Edward Jones in Missouri. Burns has a number of customer disputes on his record along with employment separation after allegations and a regulatory ruling.
Burns was permitted to resign from Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., in 2015 for violations of company policies including unauthorized use of discretion, unauthorized trading, and inaccurate client file documentation.
Customer Disputes and Regulatory Action
A customer alleged in November 2015 that Burns had misrepresented information about equity investments and fees. In March 2016, a customer’s attorney alleged that Burns made fraudulent representations, falsified agreements related to accounts, and participated in transactions the client had not authorized. Both disputes resulted in settlement payments.
Several customer complaints also remain pending against Burns. In one complaint from December 2015, a customer’s attorney alleged that Burns breached his fiduciary duty and participated in unauthorized trades in 2013 and 2014. The client has requested $115,000 in damages. In another pending action from October 2016, a client alleged that Burns made an inappropriate recommendation to lend money to a third party and recommended an unsuitable investments. The client is requesting $500,000 in damages.
Following action by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Burns was accused of having engaged in a “pattern of unauthorized trading” in nine customer accounts and having made risky and unsuitable investments on behalf of a senior couple. He consented to sanctions that included a penalty of $17,500 and 14-month suspension from the investment industry.
Securities attorneys Hugh D. Berkson and Jay Salamon assist investors who have lost capital because of fraudulent behavior by investment advisers and stockbrokers. If you have lost money due to broker fraud, do not delay in getting legal assistance, since deadlines can limit or bar your claim. Contact McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA, for assistance.
Hugh Berkson is a Securities Attorney with McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman, Co. LPA. Hugh is rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®.
He obtained a business degree in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989, and is a 1994 graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Barristers and received both the American Jurisprudence Award, (National Mock Trial) in 1993 and the Jonathan M. Ault Mock Trial Prize for 1993-1994.