Ami Forte and Charles Lawrence, Formerly of Morgan Stanley, Barred by FINRA for Alleged Churning

Forte and Lawrence allegedly churned accounts of an elderly client suffering from dementia.

The Sonn Law Group is investigating Ami Forte and Charles Lawrence based on allegations of churning. Under FINRA Rules, brokerage firms are liable for their brokers’ misconduct or negligence and investors may be able to their investment through FINRA arbitration. Contact Sonn Law Group today or call us at 866–827–3202 for a free consultation.

Ami Forte (CRD#:2457536)and Charles Lawrence (CRD#:3131566), who were both employed by Morgan Stanley between 2009 and 2016, were barred by FINRA for their respective roles in churning accounts belonging to a 79-year-old customer who suffered from severe cognitive impairment.

Forte first met the customer (“RS”) in the late 90’s, when the two developed a romantic and business relationship. Forte used this position of trust and confidence to exploit RS and generate excessive commissions from his accounts.

FINRA’s findings stated that from September 2011 through June 2012, the Forte Group — an entity established by Forte and joined by Lawrence in 2001 — effected more than 2,800 trades in RS’s accounts, generating approximately $9 million in commissions. Over half of the transactions involved short-term trading in long-maturity bonds, including municipal bonds, intended only for customers with long-term investment horizons.

This excessive and unsuitable trading continued until shortly before RS’s death. On June 20, 2012, RS entered the hospital for the final time before he passed away in August of that year. Despite his hospitalization and lack of contact with anyone from Forte Group, RS’s accounts had over $14 million transactions between June 20 and June 29 of 2012.

Jessica Hopper, Senior Vice President and Acting Head of FINRA’s Department of Enforcement, said, “Protection of senior and vulnerable investors is a top priority for FINRA. Churning the account of an elderly customer who suffered from severe cognitive impairment is an egregious violation of the high ethical standards to which FINRA holds all associated persons.”

Jeffrey R. Sonn is an experienced investor losses attorney. If you suffered losses because a financial professional committed acts in violation of FINRA Rules, Mr. Sonn will protect your rights and interests. Please do not hesitate to contact the Sonn Law Group today for a free review of your claim.