Publicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on November 8, 2017 indicate that former Maryland-based Merrill Lynch broker/adviser James Merkel, who has received a pending customer dispute, was terminated from his former employer and is currently not affiliated with any broker-dealer firm. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Merkel (CRD# 1324554).
James Merkel has spent 32 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Merrill Lynch in Frederick, Maryland (1984-2017). He has passed two securities industry examinations: Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination), which he obtained on January 2, 1985, and Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination), which he obtained on December 15, 1984. He is currently not registered with any state or firm.
According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one pending customer complaint and was terminated from his former employer.
In August 2017 he was terminated from his position at Merrill Lynch following allegations of conduct involving selling investments away from his member firm.
For reference, “selling away” denotes the purchase, solicitation, or sale by a registered representative of investment products not offered by their broker-dealer firm. Both FINRA rules and federal securities law forbid selling away: Perhaps the most securities rule related to selling away is FINRA Rule 3040, which states that “No person associated with a member shall participate in any manner in a private securities transaction” unless the transaction adheres to several conditions, including the firm’s written authorization. Transactions made away from the member firm are often omitted from the firm’s official records, which may be a violation of other FINRA rules. Brokers and investment advisers who engage in selling away may be subject to disciplinary action by FINRA or the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In 2016 a customer alleged James Merkel, while employed at Merrill Lynch, misrepresented and omitted material facts in connection to unsuitable investment recommendations. The customer is seeking $1,000,000 in damages in the pending complaint.
If you or someone you know has a complaint regarding James Merkel, call Fitapelli Kurta at 877-238-4175 for a free consultation. You may be able to recover lost funds. Fitapelli Kurta accepts all cases on contingency: we only get paid if and when you collect money. You may have a limited window to file your complaint, so we encourage you to avoid delay. Call 877-238-4175 now to speak to an attorney for free.