Financial Advisor Ben Dembla (Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith) Customer Complaints

The Wolper Law Firm, P.A. is currently investigating claims against Ben Dembla, a former Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch in Chicago, Ill.  Ben Dembla has been in the securities industry since 2001.

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on February 5, 2019, FINRA sanctioned Ben Dembla, barring him from associating with any brokerage firm for allegedly entering fictitious mutual fund orders.

“Without admitting or denying the findings, Dembla consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he entered and later canceled fictitious mutual fund sell orders to circumvent restrictions placed by his member firm and mutual fund providers on the amount of Class B shares an investor can own. The findings stated these fictitious sell orders and subsequent purchases of Class B shares caused the accounts of customers to exceed the accumulation limit by a total of $863,000. The firm subsequently provided $31,801 in restitution to these customers. The findings also stated that Dembla caused the firm to maintain inaccurate books and records by making false entries on firm databases as to why the clients wanted to sell Class B shares.”

For a copy of the the FINRA sanction, click https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/fda_documents/2016051014801%20Bhenoy%20Ben%20Dembla%20CRD%204357042%20AWC%20sl.pdf

In addition, Ben Dembla has four customer complaint disclosures reflected on his CRD:

  • October 2017—” The Customer alleges excessive trading and unsuitable investments from December 31, 2010 until December 31, 2015.”  The dispute was settled for $95,000.
  • January 2017—”The Customer alleges unsuitable investment recommendations from May 2012 to September 2016.”  The dispute was resolved for $167,000.
  • January 2017—” The Customer alleges unsuitable investment recommendations from January 2012 to April 2016.”  The dispute was resolved for $110,000.
  • Jsanuary 2016—”The Customers allege unsuitable investments recommendations from January 2013 to July 2015.”  The matter was resolved for $200,000.

For a copy of the Ben Dembla’s CRD, click https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/4357042#disclosuresSection

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.  

It is required by FINRA rules and other governing regulations that Financial Advisors obtain authorization for all trades placed in non-discretionary accounts prior to executing those trades.  If a trade is unauthorized, the customer may be entitled to rescission of the trade, plus any damages caused or commissions charged. 

The Wolper Law Firm, P.A. represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis.  Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, P.A., 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.

Attorney Matthew Wolper

Attorney Matthew WolperMatt Wolper is a trial lawyer who focuses exclusively on securities litigation and arbitration. Mr. Wolper has handled hundreds of securities matters nationwide before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), JAMS, and in state and federal court. Mr. Wolper has handled and tried cases involving complex financial products and strategies ranging from traditional stocks and bonds to options, margin and other securities-based lending products, closed/open-end mutual funds, structured products, hedge funds, and penny stocks. [Attorney Bio]