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Benjamin S. Burton, of Charlestown, West Virginia, a stockbroker formerly registered with Morgan Stanley, has been fined $7,500.00 and suspended for three months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity by consenting to findings that he effected trades in a customer’s accounts without the customer’s consent. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2016052219202 (Sept. 7, 2017).

According to the AWC, between October of 2013 and August of 2016, Burton exercised discretion forty times in the investment account of Customer R despite failing to procure the firm’s or Customer R’s consent. Particularly, the firm did not approve the customer’s account for purposes of discretionary trading, and Customer R never submitted authorization for Burton’s exercise of discretion in writing. Consequently, FINRA found that Burton’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rule 2010 and NASD Rule 2510(b).

Further, Burton was cited for falsifying statements to his firm through the firm’s compliance questionnaires administered to him in March of 2014, September of 2015 and June of 2015. Specifically, Burton confirmed that no discretion was exercised by him within customers investment accounts. FINRA found that Burton’s false statements in that regard was violative of FINRA Rule 2010.

Burton’s registration with Morgan Stanley was terminated on November 23, 2016.

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