Raymond James Sued By Investors For Fraud

James Edward Lyons of Shreveport Louisiana a stockbroker employed by Raymond James Associates Inc. has been referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer had been awarded $2,986,708.96 in compensatory damages supported by Raymond James Associates being found liable on the customer’s claims which included that (1) mutual funds, stocks and direct participation program interests or limited partnership interests transactions failed to be suitable because of the customer’s investment circumstances (2) trades were effected in the customer’s account by the stockbroker without the customer’s knowledge or consent (3) omissions and misrepresentations had been made regarding the terms or risks of investments (4) the customer’s account was handled by the stockbroker in a negligent manner (5) an investment related contract was breached by the stockbroker and (5) the customer was defrauded by making investments through the stockbroker when he was employed by Raymond James Associates. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 17-02973 (Oct. 25, 2019).

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Lyons has been referenced in eight more customer initiated investment related disputes concerning accusations of his improprieties when the stockbroker was associated with securities broker dealers including Raymond James Associates and Morgan Keegan Company LLC. Particularly, a customer initiated investment related civil action in reference to Lyons’ conduct has been resolved for $400,000.00 in damages based upon accusations that when Lyons was associated with Raymond James Associates and Morgan Keegan Company, transactions were unauthorized and unsuitable given the customer’s investment profile; the customer’s account as churned; and fraudulent omissions were made concerning mutual funds, stocks, equities and direct investments. Civil Action No. 15:16-cv-00738 (May 9, 2017).

Another customer initiated investment related complaint involving Lyons’ conduct was settled for $677,000.00 on February 21, 2019 in damages based upon allegations that when Lyons was associated with Raymond James Associates, the customer’s assets were over concentrated by the stockbroker in unit investment trusts, common or preferred stocks and direct participation program interests or limited partnership interests causing the customer to be exposed to increased risks; and transactions effected in the customer’s account by the stockbroker were not suitable given the customer’s risk tolerance.

Lyons is additionally referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim where the customer sought more than $5,000.00 in estimated damages founded on accusations that fraudulent false or misleading statements had been made in regard to the terms and conditions of investments; a contract pertaining to the customer’s investments was breached; transactions had been overly risky; information was not properly disclosed in regard to the risks of unit investment trust and common or preferred stock transactions; the customer’s account contained an excessive concentration in speculative investments; transactions were unsuitable in view of the customer’s objectives for investing and tolerance for risk; and purchases or sales of investments had been executed without the customer’s permission when Lyons was employed by Raymond James Associates. FINRA Arbitration (June 18, 2019).

FINRA Public Disclosure indicates that Lyons has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity supported by findings that the stockbroker neglected to provide recorded testimony to the regulator concerning allegations or concerns of his violations of FINRA rules when he had been employed by Morgan Keegan Company or Raymond James Associates. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2017054358101 (June 4, 2018).

According to the AWC, on May 11, 2018, the stockbroker was instructed by FINRA to provide testimony in response to allegations of unauthorized trading made by a customer of Raymond James Associates. By May 22, 2018, Lyons informed FINRA that he would not be cooperating in the investigation by testifying. FINRA determined that the stockbroker’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.

Raymond James Associates discharged Lyons on April 28, 2017 based upon allegations of the stockbroker being referenced in one or more customer initiated investment related disputes containing allegations of the stockbroker’s unauthorized trading when he was associated with Raymond James Associates.