Christopher Duke Bennett of Louisville Kentucky a stockbroker formerly registered with Jjjbs has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon findings that Bennett failed to comply with FINRA’s investigation into customer complaints in which he was accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2019061319201 (July 31, 2020).
According to the AWC, Bennett was the subject of a FINRA investigation in 2019 after which point Hilliard Lyons made it known to the regulator that Bennett was referenced in a customer complaint. The securities broker dealer revealed to FINRA that Bennett was alleged by multiple customers to have made unsuitable investment recommendations.
On March 27, 2020, Bennett was told by FINRA personnel to hand over information or documentation in response to the allegations of his misconduct. On May 14, 2020, FINRA was told by Bennett’s legal counsel that the stockbroker would not be providing any information or documentation to the regulator for its investigation. FINRA determined that Bennett’s failure to cooperate with the investigation constituted the violation of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
This is not the first time that Bennet has been sanctioned. He has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity based upon findings that he engaged in discretionary trading without written authorization from customers or Hilliard Lyons. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2017054060301 (Feb. 1, 2019).
Bennett has been identified in fifteen customer initiated investment related disputes pertaining to allegations of his misconduct while employed by securities broker dealers including Hillard Lyons. On January 7, 2019, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim regarding Bennett’s conduct was settled for $15,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that transactions were facilitated in the customer’s account without the customer’s consent and that excessive commissions had been charged on over-the-counter equities transactions.
On May 7, 2019, another customer filed an investment related arbitration claim in reference to Bennett’s conduct where the customer sought $900,000.00 in damages based upon accusations that trades were effected in the customer’s account in an excessive manner and that purchases and sales were not authorized. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-01207. Bennett is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was settled for $67,000.00 in damages based upon allegations of bad investment advice and breach of a fiduciary duty by Bennett resulting in losses. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-01378 (June 9, 2019). The claim alleges that Bennett’s actions ran afoul of Securities Act of Kentucky.
Bennett has been identified in another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim where the customer sought $65,000.00 in damages founded on accusations of churning of the customer’s equity portfolio and poor recommendations by Bennett. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-01693 (July 8, 2019). The claim also alleges that Bennett was improperly supervised during the time that the stockbroker was the customer’s advisor. The claim also alleges unauthorized trading and that the customer had been defrauded.
On July 24, 2019, a customer initiated investment related complaint pertaining to Bennett’s conduct was settled for $150,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that the customer’s account was churned and had been exposed to unsuitable and unauthorized transactions pertaining to unit investment trust and over-the-counter equities. The complaint alleges that the customer’s account had lacked diversification and was instead overconcentrated in risky securities that caused losses for the customer’s investment account.
Bennett’s registration with Hilliard Lyons has been terminated as of October 22, 2018.