GMS Group Sued By Investors For Bond Fraud
Jason Lyn Figueroa of Boca Raton Florida a stockbroker formerly registered with GMS Group LLC is the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer requested 1,000,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that (1) the customer’s account had been negligently administered (2) municipal debt investment recommendations failed to be suitable (3) fiduciary duties were breached and (4) false or misleading statements had been made by Figueroa in reference to securities he sold to the customer during the time that he was associated with GMS Group. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 18-02748 (Aug. 13, 2018).
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Figueroa is identified in nine additional customer initiated investment related disputes containing accusations of his misconduct while employed with GMS Group. In particular, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim involving Figueroa’s activities was settled for $142,500.00 in damages based upon allegations that Figueroa breached a fiduciary duty; breached a contractual obligation to the customer; engaged in unsupervised transactions; and defrauded the customer through his exchange traded fund transactions.
On May 2, 2016, a customer filed an investment related complaint concerning Figueroa’s activities where the customer sought $85,267.00 in damages supported by allegations that false or misleading statements had been made by the stockbroker in regard to municipal debt investments including Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation bonds. Figueroa is referenced in another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was resolved for $350,000.00 in damages founded on accusations of the customer’s account being negligently handled; contractual and fiduciary obligations having been violated; wholly unsuitable exchange traded fund and municipal debt trades; and fraudulent transactions being executed by Figueroa which led the customer to experience losses. FINRA Arbitration No. 15-03075 (Nov. 22, 2016).
Figueroa has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity based upon findings that during the period in which he was employed by GMS Group, he gave elderly customers shoddy investment advice relating to non-traditional exchange traded funds; and effected unauthorized trades in customer accounts. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent No. 2013038756501 (Oct. 20, 2015).
According to the AWC, Figueroa’s recommendations and sales of non-traditional exchange traded funds were inappropriate for at least four GMS Group customers. The AWC stated that there was no reasonable due diligence undertaken by Figueroa concerning the risks and features of the investments. In fact, the stockbroker failed to consider the risks of the products being held for extended periods. In addition, he executed trades in fourteen accounts on a discretionary basis without any written authorization from the customers and then lied to GMS Group about his discretionary trading. FINRA found Figueroa’s conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 2111 and NASD Rules 2310 and 2510(b).