Charles Abad Santos Bonilla of Boca Raton, Florida, a stockbroker formerly registered with David Lerner Associates Inc., is the subject of a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim in which the customer requested compensatory damages based upon allegations that Bonilla made unsuitable recommendations and material misrepresentations in connection with the recommendation and sale of mutual funds when Bonilla was associated with David Lerner Associates Inc. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 21-02863 (November 23, 2021).
Bonilla was also fined $5,000.00 and suspended for five months from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity because Bonilla made unsuitable recommendations to investors during the time that he was associated with David Lerner Associates. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2020067626001 (February 8, 2021).
According to the AWC, between December 2015 and December 2017, Bonilla recommended unsuitable investments for his customers while he was associated with David Lerner Associates. Specifically, Bonilla recommended that his customers invest in energy securities through a fund that Bonilla knew little about. Bonilla was not aware of how the fund paid distributions or familiar with the fund’s underlying holdings.
After recommending customers invest over $250,000.00 into the fund, the fund’s net asset value declined by more than 40%. Bonilla was paid $4,355.72 in commissions.
Additionally, between December 2015 and January 2017, Bonilla recommended illiquid investments relating to a limited partnership. The partnership was created to acquire gas and oil properties onshore in the U.S. Bonilla failed to conduct due diligence on the partnership as he did not know how the partnership was to pay investors monthly distributions, and he did not read the full prospectus or the partnership’s financial statements. David Lerner customers invested over $650,000.00 in the partnership based on Bonilla’s recommendations. Bonilla received $18,061.31 in commissions.
Bonilla violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 2111 for making unsuitable recommendations.
From 2018 to 2019, Bonilla was associated with Pruco Securities LLC. From 2015 to 2018, he was associated with David Lerner Associates Inc., and from 2008 to 2015, he was associated with Scottrade Inc.