FINRA Bars First Standard Stockbroker In Investigation

Gabriel Block (also known as Gabe Block) of Red Bank New Jersey a stockbroker formerly registered with First Standard Financial has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity supported by allegations that Block neglected to cooperate with an inquiry FINRA launched into Block’s activities. Case No. 2017052466301 (May 15, 2019).

According to FINRA Public Disclosure, Block was initially suspended by FINRA for failing to cooperate with a request for information. That suspension, which went into effect March 8, 2019, placed Block in a position where if he wanted to remain a stockbroker, he had to request the termination of the suspension no later than May 14, 2019. Block was automatically barred by May 15, 2019 for failing to cooperate by the deadline.

This is not the first time that Block has been sanctioned by a securities regulator based upon his misconduct in the securities industry. Specifically, on March 13, 2018, Block was subject of a National Adjudicatory Council Notice which denied First Standard’s Membership Continuance Application in regard to Block’s association with the firm. NAC’s Notice referenced that Block was suspended for three years by the State of Delaware from being a stockbroker or investment advisor, and Block agreed to cease and desist from engaging in conduct violative of Delaware Securities Act, according to a Consent Order based upon accusations that Block, inter alia, gave customers bad investment advice; excessively traded in customer accounts; and churned customers’ investment portfolios. Case No. 11-2-4 (Oct. 14, 2016). National Adjudicatory Council found Delaware’s disciplinary action, among other regulatory actions, as sufficient justification to disqualify Block. Block appealed this decision to Securities Exchange Commission; however, this appeal was dismissed by SEC on September 28, 2018.

FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Block has been identified in twelve customer initiated investment related disputes pertaining to allegations of Block’s violative conduct while employed with Oppenheimer Co. Inc., National Securities Corp, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC and First Standard Financial. Particularly, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim regarding Block’s conduct was settled for $675,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that Block breached his fiduciary duties to the customer; executed transactions in the customer’s account that were in no way suitable for the customer; and churned the customer’s equity portfolio. FINRA Arbitration No. 15-01551 (May 31, 2016).

Another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim involving Block’s activities was resolved for $35,000.00 in damages supported by allegations including negligence, suitability and breach of fiduciary duty in regard to over-the-counter equities trades placed by Block during the time he was employed by National Securities Corp and Oppenheimer. FINRA Arbitration No. 15-01551 (June 1, 2016). Thereafter, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim concerning Block’s conduct was settled for $55,000.00 in damages based upon accusations that Block effected unsuitable and unauthorized Puerto Rico bond transactions in the customer’s account; mishandled the customer’s investments; churned the customer’s investment portfolio; and executed trades without the customer’s consent. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-01038 (Feb. 13, 2019).

Further, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim regarding Block’s activities in which the customer requested $668,000.00 in damages founded on allegations that while Block was associated with First Standard Financial, the customer was placed in inappropriate stocks; and trades were executed without authorization having been provided by the customers. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-00431. (Feb. 15, 2019). Moreover, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim involving Block’s conduct where the customer sought unspecified damages supported by accusations of Block effecting unsuitable stock trades in the customer’s investment account while registered with First Standard Financial.

Moreover, Block is the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer requested $2,000,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that trades were effected in the customer’s account on an excessive basis; and stocks sold to the customer were not suitable given the customer’s risk profile or objectives for investing. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-00737 (Apr. 8, 2019).

Block’s registration with First Standard Financial Company LLC has been terminated as of March 13, 2018.