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WARNING! Impending Investigation–MAYOR OF WESTOVER, ALABAMA, JAMES MARK MCLAUGHLIN and SECURITIES AMERICA, INC.

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Dec

WARNING! Impending Investigation–MAYOR OF WESTOVER, ALABAMA, JAMES MARK MCLAUGHLIN and SECURITIES AMERICA, INC.

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James Mark McLaughlin and Securities America, Inc.

Have you lost money with financial advisor James Mark McLaughlin from Westover, Alabama?  We are currently investigating allegations made by FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) made against McLaughlin.  FINRA recently barred Mark McLaughlin from the securities industry for excessively trading or churning several customers’ accounts.  FINRA alleged that between October 2010 and October 2012, McLaughlin excessively traded at least four customers’ accounts, with annual turnovers ranging from 6 to 47.  It has long been held that an annual turnover of 4 is a “presumption” of churning or excessive trading, and a turnover of 6 or more is a “conclusion” of churning.

McLaughlin’s trading also created high cost-equity ratios.  Cost equity ratios are used to measure how much a portfolio must return just to break even to meet the costs/commissions/fees of the trading.  For these four customers, McLaughlin’s trading yielded cost-equity ratios anywhere from 32% to 228%.  Thus, one client had to make a 228% return just to break even.

FINRA also alleged that Mark McLaughlin also excessively traded mutual funds in his customers’ accounts.  “A” shares of mutual shares typically have upfront commissions of 2% to 5%, and McLaughlin was recommending that his clients hold these mutual fund shares for only an average of 167 days.  As such, these clients were paying 2% to 5% commissions roughly every 5 to 6 months, and FINRA alleged that this was excessive.  As part of this investigation, McLaughlin was kicked out of the securities industry.  McLaughlin was also investigated by the Alabama Securities Division for the same conduct.

James Mark McLaughlin was a registered representative of Securities America, Inc. from 2000 to October 2012.  He was fired by Securities America for this conduct.  McLaughlin’s FINRA BrokerCheck report reveals that he is also the mayor of Westover, Alabama.

Broker-dealers like Securities America have a responsibility to adequately supervise all representatives who are registered through their firm, including investments sold by their registered representatives.  Broker-dealers also must take steps to ensure that their financial advisors follow all securities rules and regulations, such as to refrain from excessively trading or churning a customer’s account.  When broker-dealers fail to adequately supervise their registered representatives, they may be liable for investment losses sustained by customers.

Our firm represents investors all over the country, as well as numerous investors from Alabama in the past.  We have also represented investors who lost money with Securities America (See https://www.israelsneuman.com/court-ruling-goes-securities-america/).  Our firm has offices in Denver and the Seattle-area, but we continue to represent investors throughout the U.S.   If you have lost money with James Mark McLaughlin or Securities America, and want to hear about ALL legal options, please visit https://www.israelsneuman.com/ and go to our CONTACT page or call us at 720-599-3505.

Click here to view Alabama Complaint against James Mark McLaughlin:  McLaughlin AL Complaint

Click here to view FINRA Complaint against James Mark McLaughlin:  McLaughlin FINRA Complaint (1)

Click here to view James Mark McLaughlin Broker Check Report:  McLaughlin BrokerCheck 11.28.14 (1)

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