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Investigation: Tom Puentes of Morgan Stanley

The securities fraud and investment recovery firm Fitapelli Kurta is investigating claims against Morgan Stanley Smith Barney broker Tom Puentes.  Tom Puentes works out of Morgan Stanley’s branch office located in Oxnard, California.  Mr. Puentes was previously registered with Citigroup Global Markets Inc. until June 2009.

According to FINRA BrokerCheck, Tom Puentes has at least six (6) customer-initiated complaints issued against him.  These claims include allegations that Tom Puentes engaged in unauthorized trading and made unsuitable recommendations in his client accounts, which resulted in substantial losses to his clients.  Most recently, a customer issued a complaint against Tom Puentes alleging that he executed unauthorized purchases of bonds in the customer’s account in 2013.  The customer is seeking unspecified damages.

Stockbrokers such as Tom Puentes have a duty to only recommend securities that are suitable for his clients.  A suitability analysis takes into account a number of factors such as a customer’s financial wherewithal, investment objectives and risk tolerance.  Moreover, executing transactions without obtaining explicit authorization for clients is both a FINRA and SEC rules violation that can lead to sanctions and liability.

In addition to the above, Tom Puentes was “permitted to resign” from another FINRA member firm after the firm found that he breached its computerized record system which contained confidential information regarding the firm’s customers.  The firm obtained a civil injunction against Tom Puentes that prevented him from utilizing confidential information that Mr. Puentes allegedly obtained.

If you or someone else you know invested with Tom Puentes, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, or Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and were the victim of unauthorized trading or unsuitable investment advice, please contact the attorneys at Fitapelli Kurta today.  The firm litigates securities arbitrations nationwide on a contingency basis and does not charge for initial consultations. Please contact us today to discuss your claim.

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