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Cetera Advisors Financial Advisor Patricia Gleason Has Pending Customer Complaint, Alleging Unsuitable Investment Recommendations

Patricia Gleason (CRD#: 2811669) is a Registered Broker and Investment Advisor at Cetera Advisors, LLC in Orlando, FL. She entered the securities industry in 1996 and previously worked for Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc.; MML Investors Services, Inc.; AXA Advisors, Inc.; Advest, Inc; A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.; Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.; and Prudential Securities, Inc.

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in February 2021, a customer complaint against Patricia Gleason stated, “Claimants allege that their registered representative recommended unsuitable alternative investments.” Damages of $500,000 are sought. The customer dispute remains pending.

Private placements is a broad term that describes securities that are not offered for sale through a public exchange. These can include promissory notes, private equity offerings, small, start-up businesses, etc. Private Placements are issued under Regulation D under the Securities Act of 1933. Regulation D provides exemptions from the more rigorous Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration requirements and allows companies to offer and sell securities without extensive disclosures. The absence of standard disclosure requirements often creates.

The Securities Exchange Commission, federal courts, and FINRA have all found that brokerage firms have a duty to conduct a reasonable investigation concerning the private placements issuer’s representations concerning the security. A brokerage’s firm’s due diligence obligation also stems from suitability obligations requiring the broker to have reasonable grounds to believe that a recommendation to purchase, sell or exchange a security is suitable for the customer. In order to meet the due diligence obligation, the brokerage firm and/or financial advisor must make reasonable efforts to gather and analyze information about the private placement, the issuer and its management, the business prospects of the issuer, the assets held by or to be acquired by the issuer, the claims being made by the issuer in the offering materials, and the intended use of proceeds of the offering. The failure to determine this and other material information would necessarily preclude a financial advisor from disclosing to a customer the material aspects of a transaction.

In addition, Patricia Gleason has been the subject of three customer complaints, including the following:

● April 2019—”Unsuitable investments, excessive commissions, mismanagement, and churning.” The customer dispute was settled for $25,000.
● February 2014—A civil judgment/lien of $206,574.38 was levied against Patricia Gleason.
● April 2006–”CLIENT ALLEGES THAT ROLLING OVER HIS 401 K INTO A 2005 IRA BROKERAGE ACCOUNT AND THEN UTILIZING SOME OF THE FUNDS TO REPAY OTHER DEBTS WAS NOT SUITABLE ADVICE. CLIENT ALLEGES THAT I WAS AWARE OF HIS FINANCIAL SITUATION AND THAT HE NOW OWES $18,441 TO THE IRS. CLIENT SEEKS COMPENSATION FOR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM THE IMPROPER ADVICE.” The customer dispute was denied.
● October 2005—”CLIENT ALLEGES AGENT FILLED OUT AND SIGNED THEIR NAMES TO AN ANNUITY CHANGE OF DEALER FORM. CLIENTS ARE REQUESTING TO HAVE THEIR ACCOUNTS TRANSFERRED BACK TO THEIR CURRENT AGENT AND ASK THAT ANY FUTURE CHANGES TO THESE ACCOUNTS BE CONFIRMED TO THEM BY PHONE.” The customer dispute was denied.

For a copy of Patricia Gleason’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.

Reasonable basis suitability requires that a recommended investment or investment strategy be suitable or appropriate for at least some investors. Reasonable basis suitability requires an advisor to conduct adequate due diligence so that he or she can determine the risks and rewards of the investment or investment strategy.

Quantitative suitability requires a brokerage firm or financial advisor with actual or de facto control over a customer’s account to have a reasonable basis for believing that a series of recommended transactions—even if suitable when viewed in isolation—is not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s investment profile. No single test defines excessive activity, but factors such as the turnover rate, the cost-equity ratio, and the use of in-and-out trading in a customer’s account may provide a basis for a finding that a member or associated person has violated the quantitative suitability obligation.

Customer-specific suitability requires that a member or associated person have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on that customer’s investment profile. Among the criteria that a financial advisor must evaluate to satisfy his or her customer-specific suitability obligations include the investor’s agee, tax status, time horizon, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance; a client’s other investments, financial situation and needs, investment objectives, and any other information disclosed by the customer should also be considered.

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis. Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at (800) 931-8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

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