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FINRA suspends ex-Morgan Stanley broker for 18 months, slaps $10,000 fine

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority suspended former Morgan Stanley broker David Strnad from associating with any FINRA member firm for 18 months because he made trades in an elderly customer's brokerage account without having the proper authorization to do so.

Strnad left Morgan Stanley in February 2016 and is not currently registered with any FINRA member firm.

FINRA said the elderly customer gave authority to Strnad to purchase certificates of deposit after the older ones matured but did not authorize him to sell them prior to maturity nor to use proceeds of these sales to purchase new CDs. Strnad sold these CDs prior to maturity, often at a loss, and used the proceeds to purchase new ones.

Strnad executed about 273 of these transactions in the customer's brokerage account. Of these, 138 involved selling the CDs prior to maturity and 135 involving using proceeds to buy new CDs. These transactions caused the customer to lose approximately $100,572, net of interest. The customer also had to pay $4,268.73 in unnecessary commissions to Strnad.

FINRA also fined Strnad $10,000 and ordered him to disgorge the commissions, plus interest.