Neil David Berlant of Los Angeles, California, a stockbroker formerly registered with DA Davidson Co., has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended for five months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity supported by findings that he executed discretionary trades in customer accounts without written authorization and mismarked customer order tickets as unsolicited during the time that he was employed by DA Davidson Co. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2020066869601 (April 5, 2022).
According to the AWC, when Berlant was associated with DA Davidson Co., he was not allowed to make trades in brokerage accounts using discretion. The AWC states that between January of 2018 and May of 2020, at least 520 transactions had been made by Berlant using discretion. Those customers did not provide written authorization to Berlant, and he did not receive approval from DA Davidson Co. to treat those accounts as discretionary. The AWC states that on compliance questionnaires that Berlant submitted from 2018 to 2020, he relayed that he did not engage in discretionary trading. Berlant violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 3260(b) and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Rule 2510(b).
Berlant also mismarked customer order tickets as unsolicited. He used discretion to make those trades. The stockbroker also used unauthorized communication systems to correspond with customers about securities business. FINRA states that Berlant violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 4511 for this reason.
FINRA Public Disclosure shows that on May 14, 2020, a customer initiated investment related complaint regarding Berlant’s activities was resolved for $5,684.19 in damages based upon accusations of Berlant effecting a closed-end fund trade in the customer’s DA Davidson Co. account without discussing the trade with the customer.
Berlant was registered with DA Davidson Co. between November 25, 2013, and June 4, 2020.