Matthew Thomas Lawson, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, a stockbroker associated with Raymond James Financial Services Inc., was the subject of a customer initiated investment related Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) securities arbitration claim that was settled for $62,500.00 in damages based upon allegations that Lawson made misrepresentations of material fact about a trust account. The customer believed that an account had been established in her name and that the stockbrokers misrepresented it as a trust to allegedly conceal the conversion of funds from the account when Lawson was associated with Raymond James Financial Services Inc. FINRA Arbitration No. 21-02846 (November 8, 2022). The customer also brought a claim against LPL Financial LLC, who settled the matter for $160,000.00 in damages.
This is not the first time that Lawson has been referenced in a customer initiated investment related dispute concerning Lawson’s conduct in the securities industry. FINRA Public Disclosure shows that Lawson was also referenced in a customer initiated investment related complaint filed on June 15, 2010, in which the customer requested $8,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that Lawson recommended unsuitable annuity and real estate investment trust (REIT) products. The complaint alleged that the securities were not appropriate for the customer’s investment objectives when Lawson was associated with IFMG and LPL Financial. The complaint was denied.
On January 7, 2020, a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim involving Lawson’s conduct was settled for $7,500.00 in damages based upon alleged breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, unsuitable recommendations, excessive turnover, breach of contract, selling away, and violations of FINRA rules during the time that Lawson was associated with Raymond James. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-01388.
On June 3, 2020, Lawson became the subject of an investigation initiated by the Tennessee Securities Division into allegations that Lawson engaged in dishonest and unethical practices by failing to disclose a business loan with a customer to his firm. TSD No. 20-031. Lawson was ultimately fined $15,000.00. In addition to the financial penalties, Lawson was required to comply with the Tennessee Securities Act of 1980 and be under heightened supervision for two years.
Earlier that same year, on February 20, 2020, Raymond James Financial Services Inc. discharged Lawson based upon allegations that he did not timely disclose or seek approval of a business loan arrangement with a customer.
Lawson was associated with Raymond James Financial Services as a stockbroker in Chattanooga, Tennessee from June 29, 2012, to March 13, 2020. He was also registered as an investment adviser representative with Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. in Chattanooga, Tennessee from July 2, 2012, to March 13, 2020. Following his departure from Raymond James, Lawson became associated with Cadaret Grant Co. Inc., in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on May 7, 2020, as a stockbroker and investment adviser representative.