Kevin Hobbs (Kevin Andrew Hobbs CRD# 4267482) is a previously registered broker whose only employer was PFS Investments Inc. (CRD#: 10111) of Lake Worth, FL. He has been in the industry since 2000.
Three customers filed disputes alleging that Hobbs made unsuitable investment recommendations in their non-PFS accounts. The disputes filed on 1/20/2023 and 9/13/2022 are currently pending, with collective requested damages of $1,000,000.00. A dispute filed on 9/27/2021 requested damages of $537,000.00, and the claim settled for $375,000.
FINRA began its investigation following a Cause Exam triggered by allegations in a customer arbitration that PFS Investments disclosed on the amendment to Hobbs’ Form U4 dated September 24, 2021.
Hobbs allegedly engaged in trading away while at PFS Investments for at least three of his investment customers without the knowledge or consent of PFS Investments. During its investigation, FINRA requested information from Hobbs about the individuals with whom he assisted with trading away in a third-party brokerage account. Hobbs responded with incorrect information, in violation of FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010.
Following the arbitration, Hobbs signed a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC), which included the sanction of being permanently barred from all affiliation with any FINRA broker-dealer. This bar became effective on 3/9/2023.
What Is Trading Away?
Trading away is when brokers execute trades with counterparts at a different firm. An investor can have one account while trading on two or more platforms. While this isn’t an illegal move, it does require permission from the broker’s firm before initializing any trading.
The investor generally initiates the process and identifies the additional broker he or she would like to work with for transactions. Once primary the broker has permission their own firm, and the secondary broker is identified, the broker creates a sub-account for that trading. Trading away can be domestic or international and give an investor a contact in a local area to ensure that they are getting the best service.
Note that this is not the same as selling away, which is when a broker sells and trades securities that are not offered by the broker’s firm at the time. This may also be done with permission, depending on the firm, if requested by the investor.
Did You Invest With Kevin Hobbs?
Silver Law Group represents investors in securities and investment fraud cases. Our lawyers are admitted to practice in New York and Florida and represent investors nationwide to help recover investment losses due to stockbroker misconduct. If you have any questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney. Most cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, meaning that you won’t owe us until we recover your money for you. Contact us today at (800) 975-4345 and let us know how we can help.