Banking

FINRA Going After Ex-JPMorgan Broker Over $624 Loss

On Friday (Sept. 23), FINRA filed a lawsuit on behalf of JPMorgan Chase against a whistleblower over a client loss that amounted to a whopping $624.

According to a report, Johnny Burris, an RIA who has been fighting with JPMorgan Chase for four years now after alleging his ex-employer put pressure on him to steer clients to the bank’s products and investments favored by it, is facing a lawsuit by FINRA.

According to the report, in 2012, Burris alleged the bank pressured him to push products that he considered to be too risky or pricey for his elderly clients. Five months after declining to push the products, he was laid off. JPMorgan and FINRA counter that Burris caused the loss and chose not to alert his bosses to the problem. FINRA filed the action against Burris, who was a broker at JPMorgan in Arizona. Burris has claimed he spent greater than $100,000 in the the arbitration and whistleblower cases and estimates FINRA’s case will add $60,000 to the bill.

“Are you serious?” securities lawyer and frequent FINRA critic Bill Singer asked in a report. “Do we want to encourage whistleblowers, or do we want to collect $600? This gives … the appearance that FINRA is retaliating against this guy so they can squash whistleblowing.”

Meanwhile, in the same report, FINRA weighed in, saying “The complaint speaks for itself. These are very serious violations … FINRA does not file a formal complaint unless it has strong reason to believe there are violations at its core. FINRA has proceeded with this case as we would any other similar matter,” FINRA spokeswoman Michelle Ong said in an email, according to the report. Ong did not say why the case is “very serious.”

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