The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has suspended broker Steve Baptist for 30 days and imposed a monetary sanction against him based on FINRA’s findings that Baptist placed six trades in the accounts of two customers who were deceased at the time of the trades.
The trading activity occurred in March, November, and December 2017, while Baptist was employed by Joseph Gunnar & Co., LLC in its New York, New York branch location. Joseph Gunnar also fired Baptist for the unauthorized trades.
FINRA found that Baptist executed two trades in March 2017 in the account of one client who had been deceased for over a week. Likewise, Baptist executed two trades three weeks after another client’s death and another two trades five weeks later.
FINRA found Baptist’s unauthorized trading to be in violation of FINRA’s Rule 2010, which requires brokerage firms and stockbrokers to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principals of trade.
FINRA suspended Baptist for 30 days from associating with any FINRA member firm, fined him $5,000 as a penalty, and ordered him to disgorge $530 in commissions he received from the unauthorized trades, plus interest.
In June 2018, Baptist was hired by PHX Financial, Inc. in New York, New York, where he remains employed.
If you or someone you know lost money as a result of an investment with Steve Baptist, Joseph Gunnar & Co., or PHX Financial, please call the Frankowski Firm at 888.741.7503 or fill out this contact form.