Former World Choice Securities Financial Advisor Thomas Stratton Has Registration Revoked by Maryland; Also Barred By FINRA
Thomas Stratton (CRD#: 1646899) is a previously registered Broker and Investment Advisor at World Choice Securities, Inc. in Melbourne, FL. He entered the securities industry in 2002 and previously worked for Financial Independence Systems, Inc.
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in September 2021, the state of Maryland initiated a regulatory action against Thomas Stratton by revoking his registration. The allegation states, “On 8/21/21, Stratton entered into an AWC and bar after he refused to provide information and documents requested by FINRA.”
In addition, Thomas Stratton has been the subject of one customer complaint, including the following:
● August 2021–”FINRA Wells Notice for failure to respond to requests for information timely and fully. AWC resulted in bar.” Thomas Stratton was permitted to voluntarily resign from World Choice Securities, Inc.
● August 2021–”Without admitting or denying the findings, Stratton consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to provide information and documents requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation of his potential misuse of customer funds with respect to the sale of promissory notes related to a third party’s life insurance policy and misrepresentations thereto. The findings stated that this matter originated from a tip to FINRA’s Securities Helpline for Seniors. The findings also stated that Stratton provided a partial but incomplete response to FINRA’s requests and later acknowledged that he received the requests and will not produce the outstanding information or documents.” Thomas Stratton was barred by FINRA from acting in all capacities, indefinitely, beginning August 12, 2021. For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.
● August 2021–”FINRA Case #2021071245401. On August 3, 2021, FINRA made a preliminary determination to recommend that disciplinary action be brought against Thomas Stratton alleging violation of FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010 in that he provided an incomplete and untimely response to FINRA’s Request for Information and Documents dated May 28, 2021, an incomplete response to FINRA’s Request for Information and Documents dated June 28, 2021, and failed to respond to FINRA’s Request for Information and Documents dated July 13, 2021.” FINRA initiated the investigation.
● July 2016–”Client claims unsuitable management of accounts / over-concentration / Margin / Breach of Fiduciary Duty. Account was established in July 2013 and transferred out October 2015.” The customer dispute was settled for $50,000.
For a copy of Thomas Stratton’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.
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