The Florida broker received a fine and suspension for making unsuitable investments
Christopher Robert Hickman will not be able to resume working as a broker until the middle of November. It will be then that his five-month suspension will come to an end. The penalty came from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after the agency reported that Hickman “engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short-term trading of unit investment trusts (UITs).”
FINRA found that with six customers, Hickman recommended that they buy UITs and then sell them within a year, even though the UITs had maturity dates of 24 months or longer. In fact, the average time the customers held the UITs was just 136 days. Hickman also reportedly recommended that with the money from the sale of these UITs, his customers should buy another UIT with the same objectives. In total, the six customers lost about $116,000.
In addition to the suspension, Hickman was also fined $5,000. Restitution in the amount of their losses was also paid to his customers. Hickman wouldn’t admit or deny the findings from FINRA, but he did agree to the sanctions.
Currently, Hickman is employed with Cetera Advisors LLC out of Delray Beach, Florida. This is a firm that has been on the radar of the Silver Law Group for a while, as they’ve been accused of many regulatory violations. Hickman also worked for Banc of America Investment Services in Boca Raton; Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. out of Boynton Beach; and A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. located in St. Louis.
FINRA’s BrokerCheck report chronicles all of the customer disputes Hickman has been involved in since 2005, seven in total. Some of the allegations against him have included unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, and elder fraud. In some of these cases, clients were able to recover lost money through arbitration.
When you allow your money to be managed by a financial professional, you are giving them your trust. And when that trust is broken, it can be difficult to deal with. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to potentially get back the funds you lost. To get information on how FINRA arbitration works and if it can help you, get in touch with the Silver Law Group. For a free consultation from an experienced securities arbitration attorney, call us at 800-975-4345 or reach out through our online contact form. We work on contingency, so there is no fee unless you recover lost funds.