Robert Francis Leis of Louisville, Kentucky, a stockbroker formerly registered with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., has been fined $50,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that he placed trades in customers’ investment accounts without their consent. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2017053370801 (Nov. 20, 2017).

According to the AWC, from October of 2016 to January of 2017, one-hundred trades had been executed by Leis in seventeen customers’ accounts. Evidently, some of those customers maintained brokerage accounts, where discretionary trading was prohibited. Leis reportedly failed to obtain the customers’ authorization for placing the trades on days in which transactions were executed.

Additionally, the AWC stated that discretionary trading was permissible in advisory accounts so long as managerial approval was provided, but it was not provided in Leis’ case. Particularly, Leis never obtained the firm’s written approval for any of the customers’ accounts to have transactions executed in them by him on a discretionary basis. FINRA found that Leis’ conduct in that regard was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and NASD Rule 2510(b).

FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that on August 10, 2009, a customer initiated investment related written complaint involving Leis’ conduct was settled for $25,000.00 in damages founded on allegations that while Leis was registered with previous employer, Raymond James Financial Services, he placed the customers’ assets in a unit investment trust when the customers believed that they were purchasing certificate of deposit investments.

Leis was fired from Raymond James on January 23, 2017, based upon allegations of his unauthorized trading in customer accounts. Leis was subsequently employed with J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC from January 24, 2017 to August 3, 2017.

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