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Akhil Morada: Miami Broker Suspended by FINRA
A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Miami, Florida broker Akhil Morada (CRD# 4859707) suspended him over allegations of unsuitable trading and unauthorized discretion use. A former representative of Primex, Morada was suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of $15,000.
According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2016050114701) dated August 2018, Akhil Morada was registered with EJ Sterling, later known as Allied Millennial Partners, when he engaged in “quantitatively unsuitable” trading in three customer accounts between January 2014 and February 2015. FINRA defines its quantitative suitability requirement as one mandating that associated person with actual or de facto control over a customer’s account to “have a reasonable basis for believing that a series of recommended transactions, even if suitable when viewed in isolation, are not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s investment profile.” FINRA states there is “no single test” to determine if trading activity is excessive, but that relevant factors include turnover rates, cost-to-equity ratios, and whether representatives use “in-and-out” trading. In the trading under concern in FINRA’s findings, Morada held de facto control over the three customers’ accounts, and his trading yielded annual turnover rates of 45, 18, and 33 for the three customers, with annualized cost-to-equity ratios of 145%, 48%, and 108%. FINRA’s findings state that the customers’ accounts experienced a collective net loss of more than $55,000. The findings go on to state that Morada exercised discretion in the three customers’ accounts without receiving their advance written authorization to do so, or his firm’s written acceptance of the accounts as discretionary. These activities, according to FINRA, constituted violations of FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010, and NASD Rule 2510. As a result of the alleged foregoing conduct, Morada was suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $15,000 and restitution of $55,555.56 plus interest to the affected customers.
Akhil Morada is currently not registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Primex in Miami, Florida; Newbridge Securities Corporation in Boca Raton, Florida; EJ Sterling in Miami, Florida; NSM Securities in West Palm Beach, Florida; CBG Financial Group in Boca Raton, Florida; and Gunnallen Financial in Boca Raton, Florida. He currently holds zero state licenses and has passed three securities industry qualification examinations.