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Barred Broker: Former Bay Mutual Financial, LLC Financial Advisor Christopher Ariola

Posted on Monday, July 17th, 2017 at 7:12 pm    

Erez Law is currently investigating former Bay Mutual Financial, LLC financial advisor Christopher Ariola (CRD# 2957096) regarding unsuitable and unauthorized trades. Ariola was registered with Financial Telesis Inc. in Aliso Viejo, California from 2012 to 2014. Previously, he was registered with Bay Mutual Financial, LLC in Santa Monica, California from 2004 to 2012, when he was terminated regarding, “Representative was subject of a customer complaint; had made some recommendations to customers which were not consistent with firm policies and had made a loan to a former customer without reviewing same with compliance personnel.”

In January 2017, FINRA sanctioned Ariola to pay $137,993.13 plus prejudgement interest totaling $18,657.43, in restitution to customers and has barred him from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public. It is alleged that Ariola made unsuitable recommendations to elderly retirees, given their financial circumstances, investment objectives and low risk tolerance, to concentrate a substantial portion of their limited retirement assets in high-risk gold and energy stocks. It is also alleged that Ariola engaged in securities trading in customer accounts without providing written notice of an outside brokerage account to his member firm.

Ariola has been the subject of four customer complaints between 2012 and 2014, according to his CRD report:

February 2014. “Client is alleging that the advisor transacted business in the client’s account without the knowledge or consent of the client.” The customer is seeking $45,982 in damages and the case is currently pending.

May 2013. “Customer maintained his account with Bay Mutual from 2007 to 2009. The account left Bay Mutual at the end of 2009 to go to ameritrade, another brokerage firm. Customer complained asserting that he lost funds in the account and, without specifying a reason or amount, stated that he desired a reimbursement of all losses in his investments, including losses at ameritrade. Investigation indicated that, while the account was at bay mutual, it was invested almost entirely in bond mutual funds which were deemed suitable for the customer’s investment objectives. Client also continued to withdrawl (sp) $4,000 per month from the account while at Bay Mutual despite the total monthly interest was approximately $1500. Client wanted to trade the account more aggressively and the representative refused, which prompted the customers (sp) account transfer to ameritrade. After transfer of the account, transactions were not handled or processed through Bay Mutual. Two and one half years after the account left bay mutual in late 2012, the customer asked the representative for a $2000 loan as they had been friends for ten years. It was supposed to be a one week loan, which was never recovered by the representative. On April 15, 2013 the former client filed a finra arbitration against the representative and Bay Mutual Financial, LLC alleging negligence, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty.” The customer is seeking $490,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.

May 2013. “Churning unsuitability.” The customer is seeking $109,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.

August 2012. “Customer maintained his account with Bay Mutual from 2007 to 2009. The account left Bay Mutual at the end of 2009 to go to ameritrade, another brokerage firm. Customer complained asserting that he lost funds in the account and, without specifying a reason or amount, stated that he desired a reimbursement of all losses in his investments, including losses at ameritrade. Investigation indicated that, while the account was at bay mutual, it was invested almost entirely in bond mutual funds which were deemed suitable for the customer’s investment objectives. Client also continued to withdrawl (sp) $4,000 per month from the account while at bay mutual despite the total monthly interest was approximately $1500. Client wanted to trade the account more aggressively and the representative refused, which prompted the customers (sp) account transfer to ameritrade. After transfer of the account, transactions were not handled or processed through bay mutual. Two and one half years after the account left bay mutual in late 2012, the customer asked the representative for a $2000 loan as they had been friends for ten years. It was supposed to be a one week loan, which was never recovered by the representative.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.

Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Bay Mutual Financial, LLC may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Ariola’s customers.

Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against former Bay Mutual Financial, LLC financial advisor Christopher Ariola regarding unsuitable and unauthorized trades. If you were a client of Bay Mutual Financial, LLC or Financial Telesis Inc. or another firm, and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.