In a recent action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a broker formerly registered with Raymond James Associates in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, JOSEPH PAUL WOITKOSKI (CRD#: 3023301) was suspended for 30 days and fined $7,500 for allegedly making discretionary trades without first getting 12 customers’ written authorizations.

On August 20, 2020, according to the FINRA report, without admitting or denying the findings, JOSEPH PAUL WOITKOSKI consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that Woitkoski allegedly exercised discretion without written authorization in accounts maintained by customers, some of whom were seniors.

FINRA’s findings stated that over the course of longstanding relationships, the customers gave authorization to JOSEPH PAUL WOITKOSKI to exercise discretion in their accounts. However, FINRA alleges that Woitkoski did not have written authority from the customers to exercise discretion in their accounts. Allegedly, Woitkoski never requested or obtained approval from his member firm to exercise discretion in the customers’ accounts.

According to FINRA, JOSEPH PAUL WOITKOSKI also completed a compliance questionnaire in which he allegedly inaccurately stated that he did not exercise discretion in any non-fee based accounts. FINRA’s findings alleged that Woitkoski caused the firm to maintain inaccurate books and records by mismarking order tickets for trades as unsolicited when the trades were his idea. Woitkoski allegedly had no communication with the customer for at least a week prior to entering the subject trade orders.

In a recent article from AdvisorHub, it stated that Woitkoski also mis-marked trading orders as “unsolicited” on about 120 of the approximately 900 trades he made over 19 months. “I have retired from the securities business and will not be associated with any FINRA member in any capacity in the future,” JOSEPH PAUL WOITKOSKI wrote in a statement attached to the consent letter.

According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, JOSEPH PAUL WOITKOSKI, is not currently registered but was previously registered both as a broker and as an investment adviser. He was a registered representative in the securities industry for 20 years.  In August of 2018, Woitkoski was discharged from RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC., following allegations, “FINANCIAL ADVISOR TERMINATED AFTER ADMITTING THAT HE EXECUTED UNAUTHORIZED TRADES IN MULTIPLE CLIENT ACCOUNTS.”

Woitkoski was registered with 3 firms, the most recent listed below:

02/05/2010 – 09/12/2018  RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOICATES, INC. – PITTSFIELD, MA

01/30/2004 – 02/09/2010  MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH INC – ALBANY, NY

If you have experienced losses due to the actions or recommendations of the former Raymond James of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, broker JOSEPH PAUL WOITKOSKI, contact Soreide Law Group at no cost and speak to an experienced securities lawyer regarding the possible recovery of your investment losses through a FINRA arbitration at:  888-760-6552.

Soreide Law Group works on a contingency fee and we will represents our clients nationwide before FINRA.