SEC Suspends Former Financial Advisor Robert Gleason Jr. for Violating Best Interest Obligation

Robert S. Gleason Jr. (CRD#: 1415067) is a previously registered Broker and Investment Advisor.


Broker’s Background

He entered the securities industry in 1985, and previously worked with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated; Advest, Inc.; H&R Block Financial Advisors, Inc.; Raymond James & Associates, Inc.; Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC; Cantella & Co.Inc..; and IFP Securities, LLC.


Allegations of Misconduct

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in April 2024, without admitting or denying the findings, Gleason consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he willfully violated the Best Interest Obligation under Rule 15l-1(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by recommending a series of transactions in the account of a retail customer that was excessive in light of the customer’s investment profile and, therefore, was not in the customer’s best interest.


The findings stated that Gleason recommended to a retail customer (Customer A) a series of transactions that were excessive in light of the customer’s investment profile. In so doing, Gleason placed his interests ahead of the interests of the customer. At the time of the trading, the customer was in her early sixties, and had an investment profile reflecting an income of $50,000 and a liquid net worth of $700,000. Gleason’s recommendations for the customer involved a pattern of in-and-out, short-term trading, and Gleason failed to consider the cumulative costs of his trading. Between July 2020 and June 2021, Gleason effected 91 trades in Customer A’s account. Collectively, these trades resulted in a cost-to-equity ratio exceeding 28%—meaning that Customer A’s account would have had to grow by more than 28% during the 11-month period just to break even—and a turnover rate of 12.93. Although Customer A’s average account balance during this period was approximately $101,000, Gleason effected the purchase of approximately $1.3 million in securities. Customer A paid more than $28,000 in commissions and trade costs.


Therefore, Gleason willfully violated Exchange Act Rule 15l-1(a)(1) and violated FINRA

Rule 2010. Respondent also consents to the imposition of the following sanctions:

  • a three-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member in all capacities and
  • a $5,000 fine.


For a copy of Robert Gleason Jr.’s Disciplinary Details, click here.


In addition, Robert Gleason Jr. has been the subject of three other disclosures, which include the following:

  • March 2022— “Client alleged that Gleason traded securities for her, exercising discretion, without the proper license. She alleged that he forged letters to the firm’s compliance department and that he abused her trust and made a considerable amount of money more than he made for her with her investments. She believes Gleason manipulated her. She alleges that he persuaded her to sell bonds she owned years ago saying they were going to junk bond status which she now believes was done in an effort to generate cash for the multiple trades and commissions. Financial representative Robert Gleason denies all allegations.” The damage amount requested is $5,000 and the customer dispute is still pending.
  • December 2021—Discharged by Cantella & Co. Inc., “Concerns regarding the origin of notations added to firm-requested Active Account and Concentration client letters.”


For a copy of Robert Gleason Jr.’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.

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.



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]