Elaine Diones Lacerte of Colorado Springs Colorado a stockbroker formerly registered with Morgan Stanley is the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was settled for $9,500.00 in damages supported by accusations that unit investment trust transactions effected by the stockbroker were unsuitable for the customer. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 19-00611 (June 25, 2019).

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Lacerte has been identified in four additional customer initiated investment related disputes which pertain to allegations of her misconduct during the period in which she was employed by Morgan Stanley. Specifically, a customer filed an investment related complaint involving Lacerte’s conduct where the customer sought unspecified damages based upon accusations that the customer had been falsely told that the par value of the customer’s principal investment would be returned upon maturity.

On August 29, 2016, another customer initiated investment related complaint concerning Lacerte’s conduct was settled to resolve allegations of the risks of unit investment trust products having been misrepresented to the customer when sold by Lacerte. In addition, a customer initiated investment related complaint in regard to Lacerte’s activities was settled on August 23, 2016 for $24,464.76 in damages founded on accusations that transactions executed in the customer’s account between 2014 and 2016 failed to be suitable. Lacerte is also referenced in another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was resolved for $25,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that unfounded statements had been made by Lacerte concerning municipal bonds held in the customer’s Morgan Stanley brokerage accounts from 2012 to 2017. FINRA Arbitration No. 17-01507 (Oct. 24, 2017).

FINRA Public Disclosure additionally confirms that Lacerte has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended for six months from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity supported by findings that unsuitable recommendations had been routinely made by her in customer accounts; and Lacerte persisted in trading unit investment trust products on a short term basis when the transactions were inappropriate for customers. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 20160513672-01 (Aug. 29, 2017).

According to the AWC, Lacerte recommended for customers to sell their unit investment trust positions shortly after Lacerte recommended their purchases. These recommendations were made for one hundred seven accounts at Morgan Stanley, and in most cases, recommendations had been made by Lacerte for customers to prematurely sell the investments. In fact, the unit investment trusts had two year maturities, but Lacerte recommended for the investments to be held for under a year. Lacerte subsequently advised customers to use the proceeds to purchase new unit investment trust products. Each purchase required customers to pay between 1.95 percent and 3.95 percent in sales charges. FINRA found Lacerte’s recommendations unsuitable; conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 2111.

Lacerte’s registration with Morgan Stanley has been terminated as of August 11, 2016.

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