The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and former registered representative Troy Allen Orlando have agreed to settle charges that he “willfully violated” the best interest obligation under Regulation Best Interest.
From January 2018 through November 2020, while registered with FINRA through Spartan Capital Securities and Worden Capital Management, FINRA says Orlando recommended a series of trades in five customers’ accounts that were “excessive, unsuitable, and not in the customer’s best interest.”
Orlando allegedly engaged in quantitatively unsuitable trading in the accounts of five customers for which he exercised de facto control. FINRA says Orlando’s trading resulted in high turnover rates and cost-to-equity ratios that were well above the traditional guideposts of 6% and 20%, as well as significant losses, including $80,072 in one account.
Orlando’s trading in the customers’ accounts, some of whom were seniors, resulted in total trading costs of $231,798, including $164,897 in commissions, and caused $198,450 in realized losses. The restitution imposed is equal to commissions paid by two customers. The other customers have previously obtained an arbitration award against Orlando’s member firm related to his trading.
FINRA says this level of trading was excessive, unsuitable, and not in the best interest of these five customers given their investment profiles.
Orlando consented to a 20-month suspension and restitution of $58,082.50 plus interest.