Valenti Hanley PLLC

Unauthorized Trading

Carlos Benavidez, Jr. (CRD #5013554, Louisville, Kentucky) submitted an AWC in which he was fined $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for two months. Without admitting or denying the findings, Benavidez consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion in effecting hundreds of securities transactions in customers' accounts without obtaining the customers' prior written authorization or his firm's prior written approval.

The findings stated that Benavidez participated in the backdating of customers' notes that had been created in a firm program in order to falsely reflect that he or another representative had conversations with customers on a previous date, before the trades were affected. As a result, Benavidez caused his firm to have inaccurate records.

The suspension is in effect from February 1, 2016, through March 31, 2016. (FINRA Case #2014043025701)

"Discretion" in this context refers to discretionary trading, which is when a broker makes trades in a customer's account without first consulting the customer. That generally means the broker can decide at any time how much of a stock, bond, or other security to buy or sell, and at what price, without customer input.

If you experienced large losses in the by reason unauthorized trading in your accounts and wish to explore options for obtaining a recovery of your losses, contact James P. McCrocklin or Michael A. Valenti at Valenti Hanley PLLC (502) 208-5017 or (502) 589-5087, www.vhrlaw.com.

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