Michael Edward Poston – and the firm that employs him or her – is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
If you are like most people, before you go out to dinner at a new restaurant, you probably take a quick look at the reviews. This makes sense; you are going to pay for an expensive dinner, and you need to be sure that you are getting a good value.
Yet, when choosing a financial advisor, many people fail to conduct this same level of due diligence. Before turning over access to your money, you need to be sure that you have found a financial advisor that you can trust. Here, our audit report, including details of allegations, complaints, and sanctions will help you decide whether or not to invest with Michael Edward Poston.
BrokerComplaints.com is currently investigating allegations related to Michael Edward Poston. We provide a free platform for investors to help them in their claims against negligent brokers and brokerage firms.
About Michael Poston
Michael Edward Poston is an Investment Adviser. Michael Edward Poston’s Central Registration Depository (CRD) number is 1863133 and the FINRA Profile can be found at – https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/1863133.
Click here to download a Detailed Audit Report for Michael Edward Poston.
Michael Edward Poston has previously been reprimanded and has disclosures and/or client dispute(s) listed at FINRA BrokerCheck.
Accusations and Disclosures
You can find below, a quick snapshot of Michael Edward Poston’s regulatory actions, arbitrations, and complaints.
DISCLOSURE 1 –
- Event Date: 7/23/2007
- Disclosure Type: Regulatory
- Disclosure Resolution: Final
- Disclosure Detail :: DocketNumberFDA: EAF0400630001
- DocketNumberAAO: 0400630001
- Initiated By: NASD NKA FINRA
- Allegations: SECTION 17(A) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 AND RULES 17A-3 AND 17A-4 THEREUNDER, NASD RULES 2110, 3110, 3010(A), 3010(B) AND (C): POSTON FAILED TO REASONABLY SUPERVISE HIS MEMBER FIRM’S REVIEW OF ITS VARIABLE ANNUITY TRANSACTIONS WHICH OCCURRED BETWEEN THE PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY MARCH 15, 2004 THROUGH MAY 31, 2004. POSTON, ACTING ON BEHALF OF HIS MEMBER FIRM, CREATED AND MAINTAINED INACCURATE BOOKS AND RECORDS. POSTON ALSO FAILED TO CONDUCT AN ANNUAL INTERNAL AUDIT FOR 2002, AND DID NOT CONDUCT A TIMELY AUDIT FOR 2003.
- Resolution: Decision
- Sanction Details :: Sanctions: Civil and Administrative Penalty(ies)/Fine(s) Sanctions: Monetary Penalty other than Fines Sanctions: Suspension
- Sanctions: PAY $19,846, JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY, IN COSTS
- Regulator Statement: EXTENDED HEARING PANEL DECISION RENDERED DECEMBER 16, 2008 WHEREIN POSTON IS FINED $10,000 AND SUSPENDED IN ANY PRINCIPAL CAPACITY FOR SIX MONTHS FOR FAILURE TO REASONABLY SUPERVISE; FINED $10,000 AND SUSPENDED IN ANY PRINCIPAL CAPACITY FOR 30 DAYS FOR FAILURE TO CONDUCT TIMELY INTERNAL REVIEWS; AND REQUIRED TO PAY $19,846, JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY, IN COSTS. THE ALLEGATION IN THE SECOND CAUSE THAT POSTON FALSIFIED HIS FIRM’S RECORDS IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 17(A) OF THE EXCHANGE ACT, SEC RULES 17(A)(3), 17(A)(4)AND NASD RULES 2110, 3110 WAS DISMISSED. IF THIS DECISION BECOMES FINRA’S FINAL DISCIPLINARY ACTION IN THIS PROCEEDING, THE SUSPENSIONS, WHICH SHALL RUN CONSECUTIVELY, SHALL BEGIN ON FEBRUARY 16, 2009 AND END ON SEPTEMBER 14, 2009. DECISION IS FINAL FEBRUARY 2, 2009. FINES PAID ON 03/11/2009.
- Broker Comment: THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THIS ACTION RELATED TO MY FAILURE TO SUPERVISE A TIMELY REVIEW OF AN EXCEPTION REPORT DESIGNED TO MONITOR THE FIRM’S QUESTIONABLE VARIABLE ANNUITY TRANSACTIONS FOR A PERIOD OF 6 WEEKS. THIS INCIDENT TOOK PLACE AT A TIME WHEN THERE WAS TREMENDOUS STRAIN AND TIME PRESSURES BEING PLACED UPON MANY FINRA MEMBER FIRMS, INCLUDING MUTUAL SERVICE CORPORATION TO NOTIFY CLIENTS OF AVAILABLE MUTUAL FUND BREAKPOINT DISCOUNTS. THE FIRM REASSIGNED STAFF TO ASSIST IN THE PROCESS OF NOTIFYING OVER 85,000 INVESTORS AND RESOLVING ANY INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS FOR A REFUND OF BREAKPOINT DISCOUNTS. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT NO CUSTOMERS WERE FINANCIALLY HARMED IN ANY WAY AS A RESULT OF THIS INCIDENT. IN LATE 2002, THE FIRM BEGAN TO UTILIZE ONGOING COMPLIANCE TESTING AND THE USE OF DAILY SURVEILLANCE EXCEPTION REPORTS. WHILE THE RESULTS OF THESE NEWLY DESIGNED COMPLIANCE TESTING PROCEDURES WERE REPORTED TO MANAGEMENT IN WRITING ON A MONTHLY BASIS, IT HAD NOT YET BEEN FULLY INCORPORATED INTO A FORMALIZED ANNUAL INTERNAL INSPECTION DOCUMENT UNTIL SOMETIME AFTER 2003. I HAVE BEEN DEEPLY INVOLVED WITH REGULATORY AND COMPLIANCE MATTERS IN THE SECURITIES INDUSTRY FOR OVER 25 YEARS, HAVING DEVOTED A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF THAT TIME TO SERVING ON SECURITIES INDUSTRY RELATED COMMITTEES AND ORGANIZATIONS, COMPLETING MANY PROFESSIONAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES REGULARLY OFFERED BY FINRA, AND ALSO CONDUCTING NUMEROUS FORMAL PRESENTATIONS TO VARIOUS SECURITIES INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS AND GROUPS ON SECURITIES REGULATIONS AND BEST PRACTICES. THIS IS THE ONLY SANCTION I HAVE EVER RECEIVED ON MY RECORD OVER THE ENTIRE COURSE OF MY 25 YEAR CAREER IN THE SECURITIES INDUSTRY.
DISCLOSURE 2 –
- Event Date: 6/30/2005
- Disclosure Type: Customer Dispute
- Disclosure Resolution: Award / Judgment
- Disclosure Detail :: Allegations: 7/28/1999 THROUGH 10/01/2003 POSTON ALLEGEDLY FAILED TO SUPERVISE THE ACTIVITIES OF RESPONDENT.
- Damage Amount Requested: $2,000,000.00
- Damages Granted: $50,000.00
- Arbitration Claim Filed Detail: 05-2417
- Broker Comment: THE SINGLE ALLEGATION AGAINST POSTON IN THE STATEMENT OF CLAIM WAS A FAILURE TO SUPERVISE RESPONDENTS IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE FIRM’S CCO. POSTON HAD NO RESPONSIBILITIES TO SUPERVISE TRANSACTIONS OF THE FIRM OR THE SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES OF RESPONDENTS. POSTON ALSO HAD NO RELATIONSHIP WITH CLAIMANT. POSTON FOLLOWED THE FIRM’S WRITTEN SUPERVISORY PROCEDURES AND EXERCISED REASONABLE SUPERVISION TO DUTIES ASSIGNED TO HIM BY THE FIRM. THE FIRM FULLY SUPPORTED POSTON’S CONDUCT AND DECISIONS AS CCO, AND PROVIDED FOR HIS LEGAL DEFENSE AND FULL PAYMENT OF THE AWARD. THE MERITS OF THE FAILURE TO SUPERVISE ALLEGATION IS QUESTIONABLE GIVEN THE BOARD SCOPE OF DUTIES ASSUMED BY CCO AND THE COMPLEXITIES OF THE FIRM’S SYSTEM OF SUPERVISORY CONTROLS. POSTON’S REQUEST TO THE PANEL TO BE REMOVED AS A RESPONDENT FOR FAILURE OF CLAIMANT TO SUPPORT THE FAILURE TO SUPERVISE ALLEGATION WAS DENIED.
According to a study prepared for the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 80 percent of American investors report that they have been solicited to participate in a fraud scheme, while 11 percent of American investors report that they personally lost money as a result of fraud.
FINRA notes that the rate of investment fraud is most likely much higher than it is reported. This is because many victims of financial advisor scams are too ashamed to come forward. Further, the study also found that a significant number of investors do not know how to spot common red flags of investment fraud. The least you should do is share your experience with other potential victims of investment scams.
Under federal securities law and securities industry regulations, registered investment firms have a legal duty to supervise their financial advisors. Section 15(b)(4)(E) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 makes a securities firm liable for the conduct of representatives.
- H. BECK, INC. (CRD#: 1763) :: 10/22/2004 – 12/22/2010 :: ROCKVILLE, MD
- CFG FINANCIAL ASSOCIATES, INC. (CRD#: 29019) :: 11/12/2004 – 8/6/2007 :: ROCKVILLE, MD
- CONTEMPORARY FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS, INC. (CRD#: 121699) :: 10/9/2002 – 10/8/2004 :: WEST PALM BEACH, FL
- MUTUAL SERVICE CORPORATION (CRD#: 4806) :: 6/18/1992 – 10/8/2004 :: BOSTON, MA
- TITAN/VALUE EQUITIES GROUP, INC. (CRD#: 6359) :: 4/24/1999 – 5/20/1999 :: IRVINE, CA
- TITAN/VALUE EQUITIES GROUP, INC. (CRD#: 6359) :: 10/7/1998 – 3/31/1999 :: IRVINE, CA
- INTERNET FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. (CRD#: 27420) :: 3/4/1991 – 1/23/1992
- FIRST UNION BROKERAGE SERVICES, INC. (CRD#: 8112) :: 8/10/1989 – 10/22/1991 :: CHARLOTTE, NC
- FLORIDA NATIONAL INVESTMENT SERVICES, INC. (CRD#: 16979) :: 8/11/1988 – 8/14/1989
The duty to supervise securities representatives is a strong legal requirement. Registered investment firms must take many different steps to ensure that they are protecting their customers from irresponsible and criminal financial advisors.
Legit or Not?
Unfortunately, stockbroker fraud is more common than many investors would like to think. And yes, stockbrokers (including Michael Edward Poston, but not limited to) can (and do) steal money from their clients. While it’s rare that a broker will literally steal his client’s money (though that does happen), typically the “theft” of investment funds comes in the form of other fraudulent violations of securities law and FINRA rules which leads to significant investment losses.
Investors generally understand that there are risks associated with buying and selling securities. The market can go up, and the market can go down. No matter how skilled of an investor you are, there are always risks. With that being said, sometimes investment losses cannot be blamed on simple back luck.
There are 10 major types of complaints we receive against Investment Brokers –
- Outright Theft (Conversion of Funds)
- Unauthorized Trading
- Misrepresentation or Omission of Material Facts
- Excessive Trading (Churning)
- Lack of Diversification
- Unsuitable Investment Recommendations
- Failure to Disclose a Personal Conflict of Interest
- Front Running of Transactions
- Breakpoint Sale Violations
- Negligent Portfolio Management
Do your due diligence before investing. Public records are available for everybody to review and decide on the safest bet.
How to Protect Yourself
We, as citizens, place a great deal of trust in the financial advisors who are tasked with helping us achieve and maintain financial security. Most of the time financial advisors and stockbrokers are honest folks who work diligently in their client’s best interests. However, on occasion financial advisors and the brokerage firms who employ them mess up and cause serious financial harm to their clients. Sometimes these losses are caused by simple negligence. Other times fraud or other serious misconduct is to blame.
Here are 5 signs that your broker needs to be reported –
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, certain investment professionals, known as registered investment advisors (RIAs), owe fiduciary obligations to their customers. Your investment broker must always look out for your best interests. If you lost money because of your broker’s breach of fiduciary duty, you may be entitled to compensation for the full value of your damages.
- Unsuitable Investments: Many financial advisors are not fiduciaries. Instead, they are held to the suitability standard. These stockbrokers and financial advisors can only sell and recommend financial products that are appropriate for a customer’s unique investment profile. If you lost money in unsuitable investments, you should consider reporting them.
- Material Misrepresentations or Omissions: Brokers have a duty to make fair and honest representations to their clients. If they fail to do so, and an investor loses money due to a misrepresentation or a material omission, the broker may be liable for the investor’s losses.
- Lack of Diversification: Brokers must also act with the appropriate level of professional skill. Pushing a customer into over-concentrated investments is highly risky. Brokers can be held liable for losses sustained because of an investor’s inappropriate lack of diversification.
- Excessive Trading (Churning): Stockbrokers and financial advisors must have a well-grounded, reasonable basis to execute all trades. Unfortunately, there are cases in which brokers will frequently trade on a customer’s account, simply to increase their own fees. This unlawful practice is known as churning.
- Unauthorized Trading: Brokers must have the proper legal authority to make transactions on behalf of a client. If you lost money because your broker made trades that you never approved of, you may have been the victim of unauthorized trading. You should consult with an experienced attorney.
Report Michael Poston
In order to prevail in an investment fraud lawsuit or FINRA arbitration cases, you must be able to assert a viable ‘cause of action’.
Michael Edward Poston – and the firm that employs this broker – is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA provides an online form to allow investors to file a formal complaint against their financial advisor, stockbroker, or brokerage firm.
Click here to go to FINRA’s Online Complaint Form →
This form will ask you for specific information related to your complaint. Be prepared by gathering the following:
- Name and symbol for the investment product in question.
- The CRD number (1863133) for the broker – Michael Edward Poston
- Your complete contact information.
Remember, it is advised to report your broker to FINRA, only after you have exhausted all of your other remedies and carefully prepared a compelling complaint. Once you file a complaint against your broker at FINRA, your case will be bound by FINRA’s rules and the arbitration panel’s eventual decision. The time clock will start, and your complaint will be served on your broker or broker-dealer.