According to a Disciplinary Proceeding with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), former SW Financial broker Douglas Leone was accused of making potentially unsuitable and excessive transactions in multiple customer accounts. Mr. Leone also failed to appear and provide testimony regarding FINRA’s investigation of him. These are against securities laws and internal firm rules. Excessive trading, also referred to as “churning,” is a particularly egregious form of misconduct by a broker. It is when the broker trades in and out of securities, sometimes in the same stock on the same day, in order to generate large commissions for himself. This typically results in the customer having to pay unnecessary fees. SW Financial may be held liable for investment losses because the firm has a reasonable duty to only recommend and sell those investments that are suitable for customers, based on their age, net worth, investment objectives and investment sophistication. If he does not, the firm may be responsible for money losses in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis.
Douglas Anthony Leone, according to public FINRA records, was previously registered with Gruntal & Co., Gaines, Berland Inc., Renaissance Financial Securities Corp, La Jolla Capital Corp, Foster Jeffries Securities, Cambridge Capital, Whitehall Wellington Investments, Advanced Planning Securities, Joseph Stevens & Company, Basic Investors, Newport Coast Securities and Salomon Whitney Financial (SW Financial) in Melville, New York from March 2013 until March 2017. He has seven customer disputes against him, alleging failure to sell and misrepresentation, fraud and deceit, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unsuitability, unauthorized trades, failure to correct, excessive commissions, and churning. He has been suspended, and is not currently registered as a broker within the industry.