The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged three former brokers at JP Turner & Co. in Atlanta, traded excessively in accounts of seven clients from January, 2008, through December, 2009. Regulators reported that these three brokers churned their client’s accounts and received $845,000 in commissions and fees for themselves and the brokerage. Unfortunately, their customers lost $2.7 million. The brokers, Ralph Calabro, Jason Konner and Dimitrios Koutsoubos, were said to have disregarded the customers’ conservative investment objectives and low risk tolerances.
The SEC said the affected accounts had annual turnover rates that were so high during the two-year period that investment returns would have had to have been 73.3% for the accounts to break even writes Liz Skinner of InvestmentNews.com.
Michael Bresner, JP Turner’s head supervisor, was charged with failing to supervise two of the brokers, according to the SEC administrative complaint filed on September 10th., 2012. Mr. Bresner ignored red flags that pointed to the brokers’ churning tactics, the commission said. The firm and its former president, William Mello, also were charged but agreed to settle without admitting to or denying the charges.
The JP Turner Atlanta firm will pay about $416,000 in penalties and Mr. Mello will pay a $45,000 penalty, according to the SEC. Mr. Mello, who helped found the firm in 1997, also is suspended from associating with a firm in a supervisory capacity for five months.
William Hicks, associate director of the SEC’s Atlanta office said,“Broker-dealers’ supervisory systems must provide customers with reasonable protection from churning and similar abuses. JP Turner’s supervisory systems failed to do that.”
If you were a client of JP Turner in Atlanta, or any of the above mentioned brokers, call for a free consultation on how to potentially recover your losses. To speak with an attorney call 888-760-6552, or visit our website and complete our online form at: https://www.securitieslawyer.com.
Soreide Law Group, PLLC., representing investors nationwide before FINRA the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.