Merrill Lynch Accused Of Unsuitable REIT Recommendations

Christopher Charles Hellman of Boca Raton Florida a stockbroker formerly employed by Merrill Lynch Pierce is referenced in a customer initiated investment related written complaint which was settled for $187,672.90 on June 12, 2019 based upon accusations that between July 3, 2018 and September 19, 2018, misrepresentations had been made by the stockbroker concerning the real estate security products held in the customer’s account.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Public Disclosure reveals that Hellman is referenced in two additional customer initiated investment related disputes containing allegations of his violative conduct during the period in which he was associated with Merrill Lynch. Specifically, Hellman is the subject of a customer initiated investment related written complaint on December 11, 2018 which was resolved for $440,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that the customer’s funds which were slated for municipal debt investments had been misappropriated through Hellman on October 23, 2017.

Hellman is referenced in another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was settled for $75,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that the customer’s investment purchases had been solicited or sold by Hellman away from the securities broker dealer; and the customer’s funds had been taken by Hellman without authorization being provided by the customer. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-04047 (Sept. 17, 2019).

FINRA Public Disclosure additionally confirms that Hellman has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity founded on findings that Hellman obstructed a FINRA investigation into accusations of his undisclosed outside business activities and private securities transactions. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018060168801 (Dec. 13, 2018).

According to the AWC, Hellman was investigated by FINRA after being discharged by Merrill Lynch on September 20, 2018. Hellman was terminated based upon allegations of his failure to comply with Merrill Lynch’s standards, and for his failure to inform the securities broker dealer about his facilitation of private securities transactions or engagement in outside business activities. Hellman confirmed with FINRA on November 19, 2018 that he received its request for his information and documentation which pertained to the accusations against him. Hellman chose not to cooperate with the regulator. FINRA determined that Hellman’s obstruction of the FINRA investigation was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.