Darrach Michael Bourke, of Larkspur, California, a stockbroker formerly registered with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc., has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that he exercised discretion in the accounts of firm customers without authorization from his firm or the customers. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2015044341201 (Mar. 6, 2017).

According to the AWC, from January of 2012 to October of 2014, discretion had been exercised by Bourke in the account of two of the firm’s customers. Bourke reportedly engaged in discussions with customers concerning strategies for investing; however, he failed to discuss the specific trades he executed in their accounts, and did not secure the customers’ approval to execute the transactions.

Moreover, the AWC stated that no written approval has been provided by customers to Bourke that enabled him to utilize discretion in their investment accounts. Evidently, the customers’ accounts were not authorized by the firm for trading to be effected on a discretionary basis. Consequently, FINRA found that Bourke’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rule 2010 and NASD Rule 2510(b).

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Bourke has been identified in four customer initiated investment related disputes containing allegations of his misconduct while employed with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. In particular, on September 16, 2003, a customer initiated investment related complaint involving Bourke’s conduct was settled for $30,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that Bourke effected price and time discretion regarding securities transactions.

Further, on January 14, 2015, a customer initiated investment related oral complaint concerning Bourke’s activities was resolved for $50,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that in September of 2014, Bourke placed stock trades in the customer’s account without authorization. Additionally, on August 22, 2016, a customer initiated investment related written complaint involving Bourke’s conduct was settled, based upon allegations that Bourke made unsuitable investment recommendations to the customer regarding mutual fund transactions.

FINRA Public Disclosure additionally reveals that Bourke was terminated from Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. on October 20, 2014, based upon allegations that Bourke’s exercising of discretion in customer accounts without prior approval from customers was conduct violative of the firm’s policies. Since May 13, 2016, Bourke has been registered with Emerson Equity LLC.

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