Erez Law is currently investigating International Assets Advisory, LLC financial advisor Michael Spolar (CRD# 2192992) regarding unsuitable recommendations and unauthorized trades in customer accounts. Spolar has been registered with International Assets Advisory, LLC in Orlando, Florida since April 2015. Previously, Spolar was registered with LPL Financial LLC in Beachwood, Ohio from 2013 to 2015 before he was terminated regarding, “Discretionary trading in brokerage accounts in violation of firm policy.” And, he was registered with Morgan Stanley in Pepper Pike, Ohio from 2009 to 2013.
In May 2017, Spolar was suspended by FINRA for one month after he consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion in customers’ accounts that were non-discretionary accounts without authorization from his member first. According to the Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC), “while Spolar was a registered representative at a firm, he stated that he discussed strategy with these clients, including the specific securities and quantities to be purchased, and that he received verbal authority for the trades. However, on at least some occasions, Spolar executed the transactions in the days following receipt of verbal authority.” FINRA also found that while Spolar was registered with his new firm, he continued to exercise discretion in customer accounts.
Spolar has been the subject of eight customer complaints between 2003 and 2017, according to his CRD report:
- March 2017. “Recommendation of unsuitable stocks, without authorization, caused losses (time period 2010-2014).” The customer is seeking $101,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- December 2016. “Recommendations of unsuitable stocks, unauthorized trades (time period 2013-2014).” The customer is seeking $115,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- August 2016. “Unsuitable and unauthorized investments caused losses. Activity period 2013-2015.” The customer sought $350,000 in damages and the case was settled for $40,000.
- January 2016. “Client alleges that Mr. Spolar forged new account documentation and recommended unsuitable investment products based on the client’s previous goals and objectives.” The customer sought $109,000 in damages and the case was settled for $30,000.
- December 2015. “Recommendation of unsuitable stocks, unauthorized trading (time period March ’13 to December ’14).” The customer sought $169,848.37 in damages and the case was settled for $140,000.
- September 2009. “The customers allege misrepresentation and unsuitable investment recommendations.” The customer sought $2 million in damages and the case was settled for $450,000.
- April 2009. “This verbal complaint arose out of the sale of an Auction Rate Security (ARS) that was made prior to the unprecedented illiquidity in the ARS market that occurred in February 2008.” The case was settled for $2,550,000.
- September 2003. “Purchase of unsuitable, highly speculative securities, breach of fiduciary duty, respondeat superior. 3/199-12/2000.” The customer sought $574,251.91 in damages and the case was settled for $70,000.
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, International Assets Advisory, LLC may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Spolar’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against International Assets Advisory, LLC financial advisor Michael Spolar, regarding unsuitable recommendations and unauthorized trades in customer accounts. If you were a client of International Assets Advisory, LLC 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.