Investors Sue Joseph Gunnar For Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

James Bradley Schwartz (also known as Jim Schwartz) of New York New York a stockbroker formerly associated with Joseph Gunnar Co. LLC has been referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer requested $48,732.00 in damages supported by allegations that (1) a fiduciary duty owed to the Aegis Capital Corp customer by Schwartz had been breached (2) the stockbroker’s activities resulted in a breach of contract and (3) transactions that were facilitated in the customer’s account had failed to be suitable for the customer. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 20-00036 (Mar. 9, 2020).

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Schwartz has been identified in ten additional customer initiated investment related disputes concerning accusations of his misconduct while the stockbroker was employed by Aegis Capital Corp and Paulson Investment Company LLC. On April 30, 2018, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in reference to Schwartz’s conduct was resolved for $800,000.00 in damages based upon accusations that exchange traded fund and over-the-counter equities trades were effected on an excessive and unsuitable basis during the time that Schwartz was associated with Paulson Investment Company. FINRA Arbitration No. 17-01932. According to the claim, a fiduciary duty was breached by the stockbroker. The claim also alleges that federal and state securities laws were violated, and that the customer did not authorize Schwartz’s transactions.

On May 30, 2019, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim involving Schwartz’s conduct was settled for $660,786.36 in damages based upon allegations that investment recommendations made by Schwartz were not suitable for the customer and that unauthorized transactions were effected in the customer’s account during the time that the stockbroker was associated with Aegis Capital Corp. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-00408.

Schwartz is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was resolved for $132,500.00 in damages founded on accusations of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty as it pertained to securities transactions that the stockbroker made while at Aegis Capital Corp. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-01797 (Jan. 22, 2019). According to the claim, transactions which had been executed in the customer’s account were neither suitable nor authorized by the customer. The claim also alleges negligence and that the customer’s account was churned by Schwartz.

On January 13, 2020, another customer filed an investment related arbitration claim pertaining to Schwartz’s conduct in which the customer requested $200,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that representations made by Schwartz were misleading and false. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-03414. The claim alleges that Schwartz’s trading was also excessive and unsuitable during the period in which he was employed by Aegis Capital Corp.

Schwartz has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity according to an Order Accepting Offer of Settlement issued by Office of Hearing Officers who found that Schwartz churned and excessively traded in the accounts of four Aegis customers causing them to experience losses. Department of Enforcement v. James Bradley Schwartz Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2016051704302 (Apr. 16, 2019).

According to the Order, 535 trades had been effected by Schwartz in four customer accounts. The stockbroker’s trading caused those customers’ accounts to contain annual cost-to-equity ratios which ranged between 87 percent and 120 percent. Annual turnover rates ranged between 19.9 and 54.7. FINRA revealed that Schwartz obtained $194,000.00 in compensation but customers experienced at least $660,000.00 in losses because of the stockbroker’s trading. FINRA also indicated that 261 trades were executed by Schwartz without authorization. FINRA determined that Schwartz’s excessive trading, churning and unauthorized trading was violative of Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Section 10(b), SEC Rule 10b-5 and FINRA Rules 2010, 2020 and 2111.

Schwartz’s employment with Joseph Gunnar Co. was terminated on February 28, 2017.