Christopher Anthony Fernan of Melville New York a stockbroker formerly registered with Salomon Whitney Financial (SW Financial) has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based on findings that he neglected to testify for FINRA during the period that he was under investigation for a customer complaint. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2017053314902 (Oct. 19, 2020).
According to the AWC, on September 9, 2020, Fernan was prompted to provide testimony in regard to the customer complaint disclosed by Salomon Whitney on February 17, 2017. FINRA received an email from Fernan on October 7, 2020 which explained that the stockbroker was not going to testify at any time. Fernan’s activities were violative of Rules 2010 and 8210.
This is not Fernan’s first time being sanctioned by FINRA. On June 23, 2017, he was suspended by FINRA based upon allegations of him failing to comply with a FINRA request. He was under suspension between September 23, 2017 and September 20, 2017 at which time the suspension was lifted.
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Fernan has been identified in seven customer initiated investment related disputes containing accusations of his misconduct while employed by Salomon Whitney Financial. He is the subject of a customer initiated investment related written complaint on November 27, 2018 in which the customer sought $10,000.00 supported by allegations that the customer was falsely told that investments were guaranteed against loss.
On April 22, 2019, another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim involving Fernan’s conduct was resolved for $20,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that transactions effected in the customer’s account were not suitable and that a contract had been breached. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-00906. The claim alleges breach of fiduciary duty and unauthorized trading of options and equities. According to the claim, the stockbroker churned the customer’s account. The customer was allegedly defrauded.
Fernan has been referenced in another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was settled for $65,000.00 in damages based upon allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract by the stockbroker regarding stocks and options traded in the customer’s account while Fernan was associated with Salomon Whitney Financial. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-02182 (May 20, 2019). The claim alleges that deceptive practices had been used by Fernan resulting in the customer’s losses.
Fernan is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim where the customer was awarded $22,575.08 in compensatory damages supported by Salomon Smith Barney being found liable on the customer’s causes of action including an unsuitable investment strategy and the violation of a fiduciary duty by Fernan during the time that he was employed by Salomon Whitney Financial. The claim additionally alleges breach of contract and the failure to supervise options transactions. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-03796 (June 2, 2020).
Fernan was discharged by Salomon Whitney Financial on February 17, 2017 founded on accusations of borrowing from a customer.