Thomas Joseph Buck of Indianapolis Indiana a stockbroker formerly registered with Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner Smith is referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim where the customer requested unspecified damages supported by accusations that investment recommendations made to the customer were not suitable and that the customer had been charged excessive commissions relating to stock and bond transactions effected by Buck at Merrill Lynch. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 20-02468 (Aug. 3, 2020).
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Public Disclosure confirms that Buck has been identified in 36 additional customer initiated investment related disputes regarding allegations of his sales practice violations while employed by securities broker dealers including Merrill Lynch. On March 23, 2016, a customer initiated investment related complaint regarding Buck’s conduct was resolved for $56,953.00 in damages founded on accusations of bad advice and misrepresentation by Buck at Merrill Lynch.
Buck is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related written complaint which was settled for $395,338.78 in damages on November 23, 2016 based upon allegations that trades were executed in the customer’s account without the customer’s authorization. The complaint also alleges that information was misrepresented and concealed from the customer by Buck and that the stockbroker engaged in excessive trading of the customer’s Merrill Lynch account.
On January 4, 2017, another customer initiated investment related complaint involving Buck’s conduct was resolved for $430,000.00 in damages supported by accusations that misrepresentations and omissions had been made by the stockbroker in regard to the Merrill Lynch customer’s corporate debt holdings. Buck is also referenced in a customer initiated investment related written complaint which was settled for $88,201.78 on December 29, 2017 founded on allegations that equities had been traded in the customer’s account on an excessive basis by Buck during the period that he was associated with Merrill Lynch.
Buck has been ordered by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to pay more than $5,000,000.00 in disgorgement, civil penalties and interest to resolve accusations that he engaged in a scheme to defraud investors. Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-3984 (Oct. 31, 2017). According to SEC, Buck told Merrill Lynch customers that they would not be charged commissions beyond a certain point but commissions charged to customers surpassed limits.
Buck misrepresented and concealed information about commissions and failed to indicate to customers that they could save money through a fee-based approach. The regulator also indicated that Buck made unauthorized trades. SEC indicated that Buck accumulated $2,500,000.00 in fees and commissions from no less than 50 of his customers. Buck’s conduct was alleged by SEC to be violative of Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Section 10(b), SEC Rule 10b-5 and Investment Advisers Act Sections 206(1) and 206(2).
Buck has also been barred by SEC from being a stockbroker or investment adviser representative according to an Order based upon accusations of Buck’s violation of federal securities laws. In the Matter of Thomas J. Buck Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-18366 (Feb. 9, 2018). The stockbroker also pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and was sentenced in February of 2019 to 40 months in jail.