The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged 3 former brokers of Atlanta-based J.P. Turner & Co. with churning and disregarding their customers’ low-risk tolerances: Ralph Calabro, formerly employed in J.P. Turner’s branch in Parlin, New Jersey; Jason Konner, formerly employed by J.P. Turner in Brooklyn, New York and Dimitrios Koutsoubos, formerly employed in J.P. Turner’s Ft. Lauderdale, Florida office.
According to the SEC, between January 2008 and December 2009, the trio traded the accounts of 7 customers so excessively, the accounts would have had to earn investment returns of 73.3% just for the accounts to break even. The SEC also alleged that the brokers disregarded their clients’ stated low risk tolerances and conservative investment objectives. During the two year period, the SEC claims the 3 brokers earned commissions of nearly $1 million while their customers incurred trading losses of $2.7 million.
According to the brokers’ publically available Central Registration Depository reports:
Calabro was with J.P. Turner from 2004 to 2011 and has been the subject of 5 investor complaints: 2 settled and 3 pending.
Konner was with J.P. Turner from 2006 to 2011 and is the subject of 2 pending customer complaints.
Koutsoubos was with J.P. Turner from 2000 to 2009 and is the subject of 1 pending customer complaint.
Along with the three brokers, J.P. Turner & Co. and one of its founders and former president, William Mello, were also charged in the SEC’s Complaint. The SEC alleged that the firm and Mello failed to supervise the trio and ignored red flags that would have uncovered the churning. Without admitting or denying the charges, the firm and Mello agreed to settle the SEC’s charges with payment by the firm of $416,000 and payment by Mello of $45,000.