International Assets Advisory Fires Broker For Cause
Michael Patrick Spolar of Orlando Florida is a stockbroker registered with International Assets Advisory LLC who has been fired on October 9, 2017 supported by accusations that he engaged in customer communications during a time that he was suspended by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Particularly, on June 19, 2017, Spolar was suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity by consenting to findings that he effected trades in customer accounts without authorization. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2016050379401 (May 16, 2017).
According to the AWC, from February 28, 2013 to April 13, 2015, during the time that Spolar was associated with LPL Financial LLC, he placed trades on a discretionary basis in accounts owned by six of the firm’s customers. Apparently, Spolar effected trades in the customers’ accounts on days in which he had not spoken with them. His conduct was prohibited by LPL Financial, and it served the basis of Spolar’s April 13, 2015 termination when the firm discovered his misconduct.
The AWC stated that on April 23, 2015, Spolar eventually became employed with International Assets Advisory, LLC. Once hired, Spolar persisted in his discretionary trading in customer accounts. Evidently, Spolar confessed to having exercised discretion in ten accounts owned by International Assets Advisory customers from July 2015 to March 2016. The AWC revealed that four of the ten customers previously had accounts at LPL Financial that Spolar also placed trades in on a discretionary basis.
The AWC stated that Spolar failed to obtain any written approval from any of the customers whose accounts were subject of Spolar’s discretionary trading, and Spolar’s employing firms never authorized those customer accounts for purposes of Spolar’s activities. Consequently, FINRA found that Spolar’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rule 2010 and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Rule 2510(b).
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Spolar has been identified in nine customer initiated investment related disputes containing allegations of Spolar’s improper conduct during the time that he was employed with LPL Financial LLC, International Assets Advisory, Stratos Wealth Partners, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. Particularly, on April 13, 2009, a customer initiated investment related written complaint involving Spolar’s conduct was settled for $2,550,000.00 in damages based upon accusations of faulty auction rate securities transactions effected in the customer’s account.
Subsequently, a customer initiated investment related written complaint concerning Spolar’s activities was resolved for $450,000.00 in damages supported by allegations of unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentations concerning equity investments placed in the customer’s account. FINRA Arbitration No. 09-05052 (Aug. 27, 2010). On August 1, 2016, a customer initiated investment related written complaint that pertained to Spolar’s conduct was settled for $30,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that Spolar made equity recommendations to the customer which failed to conform to the customer’s objectives for investing, and forged the customer’s account documentation.
Thereafter, two customer initiated investment related arbitration claims involving Spolar’s conduct were settled for a total of $180,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that stock transactions were effected in the customer’s account on an unsuitable and unauthorized basis. FINRA Arbitration Nos. 15-03129 and 16-01615 (Mar. 7, 2017). Another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim regarding Spolar’s activities was resolved for $57,000.00 in damages supported by accusations of unauthorized trading and unsuitable stock recommendations. FINRA Arbitration No. 17-00595 (Nov. 1, 2017).
Further, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim concerning Spolar’s activities was resolved for $101,500.00 in damages founded on allegations of unauthorized trading and unsuitable stock recommendations. FINRA Arbitration No. 16-03646 (Nov. 22, 2017). Then, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim involving Spolar’s conduct, wherein the customer requested $1,000,000.00 in damages based upon accusations of unsuitable options trades having been placed in the customer’s account. FINRA Arbitration No. 17-03304 (Dec. 27, 2017).
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