- September 6, 2023
- Cetera Advisors LLC
Stephen Curtis Lawler (CRD#: 1193477) is a Registered Broker and Investment Advisor at Cetera Advisors LLC, in Peoria, IL.
He entered the securities industry in 1983 and previously worked for First Allied Securities, Inc.; Lawler Financial Advisory Corporation; First Allied Advisory Services, Inc.; Investacorp Inc.; Integrated Resources Equity Corporation; FSC Securities Corporation; and Home Life Equity Sales Corp.
Current and Past Allegations of Conduct Leading to Investment Loss
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in July 2023, Stephen Lawler was the subject of a customer dispute alleging “alternative product recommendations were not suitable and that full disclosures were not made.” The dispute is still pending. Additionally, in December 2021, Stephen Lawler was the subject of another customer dispute alleging, “financial adviser recommended unsuitable investments. Claimants generally allege unsuitability and failure to supervise. The claim is still pending and the damage amount requested is $100,000.
In addition, Stephen Lawler has been the subject of four other customer complaints, including the following:
- June 2021—“ Claimant alleges unsuitability of alternative investments which caused financial harm. The allegations include unsuitability, overconcentration, misrepresentations fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and violations of laws.” The damage amount requested was $5,000. The customer dispute was settled for $425,000.
- January 2021—“ Claimants allege their financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments.” The customer dispute was dismissed.
- May 2020—“ Claimants allege unsuitability with respect to REIT investments purchased between 2010-2014.” The customer dispute was settled for $7,500.
- January 2020—Financial Disclosure, “Bankruptcy”. The bankruptcy was dismissed.
For a copy of Stephen Lawler’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.
We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses
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 age, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.