Erez Law is currently investigating former BAC Florida Investments financial advisor Alejandro Falla Carrasco (CRD# 5064828), who was barred by FINRA in February 2017. Falla was registered with BAC Florida Investments in Coral Gables, Florida from 2013 to 2014. Falla was previously registered with Ultralat Capital Markets, Inc. in Miami, Florida from 2006 to 2012.
In September 2016, FINRA fined Falla civil and administrative penalties and suspended him for 18 months following a complaint alleging that as Chief Executive Office and head trader of BAC Florida Investments, Falla violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 by charging the firm’s customers undisclosed markups and markdowns in fixed income transactions. It is alleged that Falla entered into a series of secret, pre-arranged transactions with another broker-dealer to create the false appearance that he and BAC Florida Investments were honoring the 15 basis points agreement on markups and markdowns on transactions. As a result of these actions, BAC Florida Investments charged additional markups and markdowns totaling $99,543.21; this was not disclosed to the investment advisor or the customers.
Then just a few months later in February 2017, FINRA barred Falla from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public. According to the Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC), it is alleged that Falla failed to disclose the use of non-market foreign exchange (FX) rates in connection with a series of bond swap transactions in retail customer accounts. FX is the exchange of one currency for another or the conversion of one currency into another currency.
This investigation found that BAC Florida Investments, through Falla’s actions, executed numerous retail customer transactions with inaccurate valuations when converted into U.S. dollars by manually entering rates for transactions, and thereby caused BAC Florida Investments to maintain inaccurate records. This affected multiple customer accounts. Customer account statements also did not include a disclosure of the use of non-market FX rate or the excessive use of markups in connection with these transactions. Falla did not disclose that he used FX rates to value bond transactions, and he did not disclose to his clients the impact that valuation has on bond transactions. Additionally, BAC Florida Investments, “failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system and further failed to establish, maintain and enforce written supervisory procedures (WSPs) for the firm that were reasonably designed to identify and prevent the use of non-market FX rates, excessive markups, short-term trading, undue concentration and unsuitable use of margin in customer accounts,” according to the AWC.
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, BAC Florida Investments may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Falla’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against former BAC Florida Investments financial advisor Alejandro Falla Carrasco. If you were a client of former BAC Florida Investments financial advisor Alejandro Falla Carrasco 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.