Sonn Law Group Investigating Claims Involving Former Merrill Lynch Broker Michael Richard Crow

Sonn Law Group is investigating claims regarding Michael Richard Crow (CRD #57845, San Jose, California). Crow recently submitted an AWC in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $7,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 business days. See FINRA Case #2013039162501. Crow was associated with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (San Jose, California) from September 1978 until his termination in November 2013. The Form U-5 filed by Merrill Lynch to terminate Crow’s registration states that he was “discharged” for “conduct involving the exercise of discretion in a non-discretionary customer account.”

FINRA found that Crow exercised discretion in a customer’s account without Merrill Lynch’s prior written authorization. FINRA also found that Crow had exercised discretion in a customer’s non-discretionary account and without a power of attorney after Merrill Lynch issued a Letter of Admonishment to Crow for entering discretionary orders in several customer accounts that were not firm-established discretionary investment advisory service accounts or accounts over which Crow had power of attorney. Although the customer stated that she was satisfied with Crow’s handling of the account and had given him oral authorization to exercise discretion in her account, Merrill Lynch discharged Crow for exercising discretion in a nondiscretionary account. In entering into the AWC, Crow neither admitted nor denied FINRA’s findings.

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, Merrill Lynch may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Crow’s customers.

If you were a client of Merrill Lynch or Crow, and have suffered investment losses, financial irregularities or unauthorized transactions in your account, please contact Sonn Law Group to explore your legal options. Sonn Law Group is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies. To learn more, please call us at 844-689-5754 or complete our “contact form.”