Mr. Brown’s FINRA suspension will last eight months
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Former Merrill Lynch Broker Fred Ronald Brown (CRD# 1175385) has been suspended for eight months by FINRA for allegedly borrowing money from clients and failing to disclose tax liens and civil judgments on his employment record.
In June 2019 FINRA fined Brown $12,500 and suspended him for eight months after Brown borrowed $69,000 from two of his clients without telling his firm. Brown also did not change his employment record to disclose two tax liens and three civil judgments, a violation of industry rules.
Brown started in the brokerage industry in 1985, worked at Merrill Lynch briefly and then worked at a handful of other firms before returning to Merrill in 2012, according to his Broker Check profile.
Most recently, Brown has worked for Merrill Lynch (2012–2017), UBS Financial (2009–2012), and Morgan Stanley (2005–2009) all of Montgomery, Alabama.
Brown was terminated from Merrill Lynch in 2017 following allegations that he accepted money from a client without the firm’s approval.
FINRA rules state that brokers may not borrow money from customers unless the broker-dealer allows for it and the borrowing arrangements meet certain criteria.
Brown has a total of 32 years of experience with nine firms, and eight disclosures in his FINRA record.
Brown was sanctioned by FINRA in June 2019 for borrowing $69,000 from two clients, and allegedly making misstatements to his firm about these loans.
FINRA also found that Brown willfully failed to timely amend his Form U4 to disclose tax liens and civil judgments entered against him. Brown was suspended in all capacities from working as a broker for eight months, with a $12,500 sanction.
Brown was also suspended for one month in March 2017 for failure to respond to a FINRA request for information.
In 2016, while also with Merrill Lynch of Alabama, a customer accused Brown of misappropriation of funds through the solicitation of a fraudulent loan. Client alleged damages of $55,000. The claim was settled for $14,000.
Jeffrey R. Sonn is a securities fraud lawyer with more than three decades of successful experience representing investors nationwide. If you suffered illegitimate investment losses with Fred Brown, Mr. Sonn can help. Contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation.