FINRA Snags Berthel Fisher Broker For Unauthorized Trading

John Huey Neely of Edmond Oklahoma a stockbroker formerly employed by Berthel Fisher Company Financial Services has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon Neely’s consent to findings that he executed unauthorized trades in customer accounts. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2015043584402 (Nov. 15, 2018).

According to the AWC, from June 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, during the time that Neely had been associated with Berthel Fisher, he placed trades on a discretionary basis in two customers’ accounts. Apparently, several hundred transactions had been placed by Neely in the customers’ accounts; however, Neely never received appropriate authorization to place those trades.

The AWC stated that in addition to the customers not having provided Neely with written authorization, Neely’s trading was actually disallowed by Berthel fisher Company Financial Services. Neely reportedly failed to notify the firm or obtain the firm’s authorization to allow his exercise of discretion in the customers’ accounts. Consequently, FINRA found that Neely’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rule 2010 and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Rule 2510(b).

This is not the first time that Neely has been sanctioned by a securities regulator for engaging in misconduct in the securities industry. Specifically, Neely was suspended by the Oklahoma Securities Department according to a Decision containing findings that Neely willfully employed an unregistered securities agent who solicited securities sales. Case No. 73105-4296. The Department alleged that Neely knew that the employee was not registered in the state but willfully concealed this information. Neely’s conduct was found violative of Section 201 of the Oklahoma Securities Act.

Subsequently, Neely was fined $3,000.00 and suspended from conducting securities business in the State of Oklahoma according to Neely’s consent to findings that he engaged in unsuitable transactions and circumvented the procedures to apply breakpoint discounts for customers that were eligible for them. Case No. ODS 05-18 (July 31, 2007). The Oklahoma Securities Department alleged that Neely engaged in business dealings which served as a fraud on investors, and he made inappropriate investment recommendations to customers.

FINRA Public Disclosure also reveals that a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim involving Neely’s conduct was resolved for $88,750.00 in damages founded on allegations that while Neely was associated with Spelman & Co. Inc., he poorly advised the customer concerning investments and effected unauthorized over-the-counter equities and mutual funds trades in the customer’s account.

Neely’s registration with Berthel Fisher Company Financial Services Inc. was terminated on September 19, 2018.

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