Have you suffered losses due to former Morgan Stanley financial advisor Justin Amaral (CRD# 4440980) who is alleged to engage in excessive and unauthorized trading? Amaral was registered with Morgan Stanley in Boston, Massachusetts from 2009 to 2014, when he was terminated regarding, “The allegations related to, among other issues, the employee’s status as an executor and beneficiary in a client’s estate and his use of discretion in several client accounts.”
In November 2018, the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation reached a $983,000 settlement with Morgan Stanley regarding failure to supervise Amaral. Amaral was alleged to engage in excessive trading (churning) and other unauthorized activities in three clients’ accounts. The excessive trading resulted in significant commissions and stripped the customers of gains, resulting in losses and other charges totaling $483,284.96. Morgan Stanley agreed to return the $483,284.96 to the customers as part of the settlement, and the firm was ordered to pay a $450,000 fine and $50,000 in costs. The customers wronged in this case were elderly and over the age of 60 who were nearing retirement age. Due to Amaral’s recommendations, the clients were forced to postpone retirement.
In June 2015, FINRA barred Amaral regarding, “Without admitting or denying the findings, amaral consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he failed to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by finra during the course of an investigation.”
Amaral has been the subject of five customer complaints between 2014 and 2017, according to his CRD report:
- July 2017. “Client’s attorney alleged former FA excessively traded account and made unsuitable investments for the client. 03/22/2011-04/30/2014.” The customer sought $138,919.38 in damages and the case was settled for $100,000.
- July 2014. “Client’s attorney alleged that the client’s former FA forged their signature on an annuity surrender form, did not advise them of surrender penalty and also make unsuitable and excessive trades in their account. 12/01/2011-04/30/2014.” The customer sought $40,000 in damages and the case was settled for $25,000.
- February 2016. “Client’s attorney alleges breach of fiduciary duty, inter alia, with respect to investments 2010 – April 2014.” The customer sought $750,000 in damages and the case was settled for $257,000.
- January 2015. “Claimant alleged, inter alia, that the closed-end funds in her account were unsuitable and misrepresented from January 2008 to December 2014.” The customer sought $500,000 in damages and the case was settled for $1,074,777.30.
- June 2014. “Client alleges gross mismanagement and misrepresentation. 01/02/2012-12/31/2013.” The case was settled for $313,500.
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, Morgan Stanley may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Amaral’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If 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.