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Former Joseph Stone Capital Broker Michael J. May Sanctioned by FINRA for Alleging Unsuitable and Excessive Trading Leading to Investment Loss

Michael J. May (CRD#: 4712287) is a registered Broker at VCS Venture Securities in New York, NY.


Broker’s Background


He entered the securities industry in 2004 and previously worked for Joseph Stone Capital, LLC; Cape Securities, Inc.; Liberty Partners Financial Services, LLC; America’s Choice Equities, LLC; J.P. Turner & Company, LLC; LH Ross & Company, Inc.; and Continental Broker-Dealer Corp.


Allegations Of Conduct Leading To Investment Loss


According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in November 2021, FINRA sanctioned Michael J. May with a civil/administrative penalty of $5,000, restitution of $10,349, and a 3-month suspension beginning December 6, 2021 and ending March 5, 2022. The FINRA sanction states, “Without admitting or denying the findings, May consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that engaged in excessive and unsuitable trading, including the use of margin, in a customer’s account. The findings stated that May recommended that the customer place trades in his account, and the customer accepted May’s recommendations. Although the customer’s account had an average month-end equity of approximately $25,331, May recommended trades with a total principal value of more than $265,044, which resulted in an annualized turnover rate of more than 10. Collectively, the trades that May recommended caused the customer to pay $10,349 in commissions, trading costs and margin interest, which resulted in an annualized cost-to-equity ratio in excess of 40 percent.”


For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.


In addition, Michael J. May has been the subject of one customer complaint, including the following:


  • June 2016–”UNSUITABLE TRANSACTIONS, UNAUTHORIZED TRANSACTIONS, BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY.” The customer dispute was settled for $5,000.


For a copy of Michael J. May’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.


We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses

Excessive trading often occurs when a Financial Advisor puts his or her interests ahead of the clients and makes transactions solely for the purpose of generating commissions. Financial Advisors have a regulatory duty to recommend suitable investment strategies. One of the components of the suitability analysis is quantitative suitability.

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. 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.


We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses?


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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