FINRA bars Mark Kaplan (CRD #1978048, Merrick, New York)
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As reported in InvestmentNews, three Raymond James entities have agreed to pay over $15 million to resolve an investigation by the SEC. The settlement and SEC order focused on Raymond James’s actions in improperly charging certain clients advisory fees when the...read more
March 7, 2018 – A Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) was issued in which Kaplan was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Kaplan consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Securities Exchange Act Rule 10b-5, and violated FINRA Rule 2020, by churning and engaging in unsuitable excessive trading in the brokerage accounts of a senior customer. The finding stated that Kaplan exercised de facto control over the customer’s accounts and the customer relied on Kaplan to direct investment decisions in his accounts, contacting Kaplan frequently. In addition, the customer was experiencing a decline in his mental health. The court granted an application by the customer’s nephew to act as his legal guardian and manage his financial affairs after he was diagnosed with dementia. Kaplan effected more than 3,500 transactions in the customer’s accounts, which resulted in approximately $723,000 in trading losses and generated approximately $735,000 in commissions and markups for Kaplan and his member firm. Kaplan never discussed with the customer the extent of his total losses or the aggregate amount he paid in sales charges and commissions. High turnover rates and cost-to-equity ratios in the customer’s accounts reflect how difficult it would have been for him to obtain sufficient profits to cover the costs of Kaplan’s active trading. This level of trading was excessive and unsuitable for the customer given his investment profile, including his age, risk tolerance, and income needs. The firm and Kaplan made a settlement payment totaling $470,000 to the guardian for the customer’s accounts. (FINRA Case #2015045984001). If you or someone you know has lost money investing with Mark Kaplan, call the experienced attorneys at Epperson & Greenidge at 877-445-9261 for a free consultation. You may be eligible to recoup your losses. Epperson & Greenidge accepts all cases on a contingency basis: we only get paid if and when you collect money. Time to file your claim may be limited, so we encourage you to avoid delay. Call 877-445-9261 now to speak to an attorney for free.