Tom Buck Now Disbarred

Tom Buck Now Disbarred

Indiana’s top-selling financial advisor from Carmel, Tom Buck, has been barred from working in the securities industry for alleged misconduct that included unauthorized trading for his clients without the clients, or his employer, Merrill Lynch’s, permission.

Buck, a former senior vice president of investments at Merrill Lynch, who had been honored numerous times over the years for being one of the top-producing brokers in Indiana, agreed to the disbarment in a consent order he signed last week with the federal Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The FINRA consent decree states that Buck, starting at least since 2009, “pursued unethical and improper business practices which generated increased commissions and revenues and enhanced his status as a top-producing broker.”

FINRA cited several violations including holding customer assets in commission-based accounts instead of lower-cost fee-based accounts without their permission, and making unauthorized trades with their money.

According to the FINRA consent document, “In some instances, clients paid substantially more in commissions than they would have paid in fee-based accounts,” and “He at times unilaterally placed trades in customer accounts without getting the customers’’ acquiescence in advance, or even after placing the trade,” Both practices are violations of the rules that govern stockbrokers, FINRA said.

Securities fraud attorney Scott Starr had this to say about Tom Buck: “The FINRA consent decree demonstrates a classic case of churning and unauthorized trading, as well as a breach of Buck’s duties owed to his clients; he put generating commissions ahead of the best interests of his clients.”

Starr Austen & Miller, LLP is currently investigating claims against Tom Buck and Merrill Lynch. If you believe you may have been adversely affected by the actions of Tom Buck or Merrill Lynch, contact our office today to speak with one of our attorneys.