Dennis Phillip Ayre, of Beverly Hills, California, a stockbroker formerly registered with Hilltop Securities Inc., has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity supported by findings that he refused to testify in FINRA’s investigation regarding accusations of Ayre’s unsuitable recommendations to customers. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2020067277801 (January 28, 2022).
According to the AWC, on December 2, 2021, Ayre was asked by FINRA to testify regarding an investigation into his investment recommendations. The regulator wanted to identify if Ayre violated FINRA suitability rules. The AWC states that by January 6, 2022, Ayre made clear to FINRA that he refused to testify. FINRA determined that Ayre violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210 because of his obstruction of the investigation.
FINRA Public Disclosure shows that Ayre has been identified fourteen customer initiated investment related disputes concerning allegations of his harmful activities during the time that he was associated with securities broker dealers, including Merrill Lynch, Oppenheimer, Integrated Advisors Network, and Hilltop Securities. On November 30, 2020, a customer initiated investment related civil action regarding Ayre’s conduct was settled for $77,000.00 in damages based upon accusations of excessive concentration and unsuitable investments by Ayre. Civil Action No. 20GDCV00700.
On December 31, 2020, a customer filed an investment related FINRA arbitration claim concerning Ayre’s activities in which the customer sought $300,000.00 in damages founded on allegations of negligence and overconcentration relating to Foresight Energy LP. FINRA Arbitration No. 20-04139. The claim also contains accusations of breach of fiduciary duty relating to oil and gas securities transactions.
Ayre is referenced in a different customer initiated investment related lawsuit which was resolved for $25,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that Ayre executed an unsuitable transaction involving Foresight Energy LLC during the time that he was employed by Integrated Advisors Network and Oppenheimer. Civil Action No. 20GDV00700 (February 1, 2021).
On July 12, 2021, another customer filed an investment related FINRA arbitration claim regarding Ayre’s conduct where the customer requested $50,000.00 in damages based upon accusations of the violation of California securities laws and FINRA rules, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty when Ayre was registered with Penguin Capital Management and Oppenheimer. FINRA Arbitration No. 21-01721 (July 12, 2021). According to the claim, the firms failed to supervise Ayre’s activities, resulting in negligence and unsuitable transactions concerning Foresight Energy LP stock.
Ayre is also identified in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer sought $5,480,902.73 in damages founded on allegations including fraud, omissions and misrepresentations, and unsuitable Foresight Energy LP stock transactions by Ayre while associated with Oppenheimer and Penguin Capital Management. FINRA Arbitration No. 21-01798 (July 16, 2021). The claim alleges breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of FINRA rules and California securities laws.
On December 27, 2021, another customer filed an investment related arbitration claim involving Ayre’s conduct where the customer requested $1,000,000.00 in damages supported by accusations that Ayre made misrepresentations to the customer regarding purchases of energy company stock. FINRA Arbitration No. 21-02949. The claim alleges a breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract relating to the oil and gas securities transactions. The customer was allegedly defrauded.
Ayre was employed by Oppenheimer between March 4, 2014, and May 4, 2017, and registered with Hilltop Securities between August 22, 2019, and July 6, 2020.