Elder Abuse Alert: Former Vanderbilt Securities, LLC Financial Advisor Mark Kaplan

Vanderbilt Securities

Did you lose money investing with former Vanderbilt Securities, LLC financial advisor Mark Kaplan (CRD# 1978048)? Kaplan was registered with Vanderbilt Securities, LLC in Woodbury, New York from 2011 to 2018. Previously, he was registered with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in New York, New York from 2009 to 2011, when he was terminated regarding, “Fa Kaplan was discharged as a result of a recent client complaint and other concerns regarding activity in client accounts.”

In March 2018, FINRA barred Kaplan after he consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Securities Exchange Act Rule 10b-5, and violated FINRA Rule 2020 by churning and engaging in unsuitable excessive trading in the brokerage accounts of a senior customer. FINRA found that Kaplan exercised de facto control over the customer’s accounts and the customer relied on Kaplan to direct investment decisions in his accounts. The customer experienced a decline in mental health, and the court granted an application by the customer’s nephew to act as his legal guardian and manage his financial affairs after he was diagnosed with dementia. The FINRA investigation found that Kaplan engaged in more than 3,500 transactions in the customer’s accounts, which resulted in approximately $723,000 in trading losses and generated approximately $735,000 in commissions and markups for Kaplan. FINRA found this level of trading to be excessive and unsuitable for the customer given his investment profile, including his age, risk tolerance, and income needs. The firm and Kaplan made a settlement payment totaling $470,000 to the guardian for the customer’s accounts.

Kaplan has been the subject of seven customer complaints between 2007 and 2016, according to his CRD report. The recent complaints include:

  • March 2016. “Claimants allege, inter alia, that from February 2004 to March 2011 the FA engaged in unsuitable and excessive trading.” The customer sought $700,000 in damages and the case was settled for $240,000.
  • February 2016. “Client alleges unsuitable investments on part of RR.” The customer sought $1.13 million and the case was settled for $500,000.
  • November 2015. “Client alleges unsuitable recommendations.” The customer sought $50,000 in damages and the case was settled for $25,000.
  • June 2015. “Guardian, appointed to the client, alleges unauthorized and unsuitable trading, from April 2011 to April 2015.” The customer sought $800,000 in damages and the case was settled for $470,000.
  • March 2011. “Client verbally alleged that there was excessive trading in her account. July 2010 through December 2010.” The case was settled for $45,000.

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, Vanderbilt Securities, LLC may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Kaplan’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.

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Author: Jeffrey Erez

The founder of Erez Law, Jeffrey Erez, focuses exclusively on securities arbitration and litigation. Mr. Erez passionately believes in representing aggrieved investors and obtaining justice for his clients through litigation.