- June 7, 2022
- Berthel Fisher & Co.
Steve Cummings (CRD#: 2274017) is a previously dually registered Broker and Investment Advisor.
He entered the securities industry in 1992 and previously worked for Berthel, Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc.; First Legacy Securities, LLC; Sunset Financial Services, Inc.; NYLife Securities, LLC; and Pruco Securities Corporation.
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 2021, a customer dispute was filed against Steve Cummings. The compliant states, “The claimants allege the investments purchased between 2010-2015 were unsuitable and misrepresented to them by the representative. The claimants further allege the firm failed to supervise the activities of the representative and allege the firm failed to conduct adequate due diligence.” The customer dispute is pending. Damages of $250,000.
In addition, Steve Cummings has been the subject of three additional customer complaints, an employment termination and has disclosed various liens. The disclosures include the following:
- July 2019 — “The clients allege the REIT they purchased in 2010 was misrepresented to them. They allege the representative guaranteed the safety of their original investment and told them they would never lose the money they invested.” The customer dispute was settled for $25,000.
- December 2018 — “The clients allege that the investments they purchased in 2015 were unsuitable and misrepresented by the representative. They also allege that the firm failed to supervise the actions of the representative.” The customer dispute was settled for $62,000.
- April 2018 — “The client alleges the investment he purchased in February of 2009 was unsuitable and misrepresented to him by the representative. The client also alleges the firm failed to supervise the actions of the representative.” The customer dispute was withdrawn.
- December 2017 — “Failure to disclose tax liens in a timely manner to the firm.” Steve Cummings was discharged from Berthel Fisher & Company.
- September 2017 — A tax judgment/lien in the amount of $42,745.76 was levied against Steve Cummings.
- September 2017 — A tax judgment/lien in the amount of $29,976.21 was levied against Steve Cummings.
- September 2017 — A tax judgment/lien in the amount of $4,501.67 was levied against Steve Cummings.
- December 2010 — “ON 14 DEC 2010 THE COMMISSION ISSUED A SHOW CAUSE ORDER TO RESPONDENTS FOR THE OFFER AND SALE OF UNREGISTERED SECURITIES IN ALABAMA. THE SECURITIES WERE PROMISSORY NOTES. THE ORDER ALSO CITED RESPONDENTS CONNER, CUMMINGS, DOZIER, HAY, STEVENS, AND WILSON FOR SELLING PREFERRED STOCK IN AN UNSUITABLE MANNER. THE ORDER ALSO CITED WALKER FOR DISHONEST OR UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICE AND CITED WALKER, LANKFORD, AND LATHAM FOR FAILURE TO SUPERVISE. THE COMMISSION ISSUED NOTICES TO THE RESPONDENTS GIVING RESPONDENTS 28 DAYS FROM DATE OF RECEIPT OF THE ORDER TO RESPOND OR PERFECT A RIGHT TO A HEARING. CONTACT S/A MICHAEL WILKERSON FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.” The Alabama Securities Commission sanctioned Steve Cummings with a monetary penalty.
- July 2010 — A tax judgment/lien in the amount of $8,360 was levied against Steve Cummings.
- December 2009 — A tax judgment/lien in the amount of $11,958.16 was levied against Steve Cummings.
For a copy of Steve Cumming’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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.