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FINRA Suspends San Antonio Broker Cecil Ross: UIT Trades

Former LPL Financial broker Cecil Ross (CRD# 2391047) has been sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in connection to allegations involving unsuitable trading of unit investment trust products. Currently a representative at International Assets Advisory in San Antonio, Texas, Ross was issued a four-month suspension and a fine of $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2014042621701) dated December 2019, Cecil Ross was registered as a General Securities Representative with Raymond James Financial Services from August 2004 until his voluntary departure in October 2014. Between January 2010 and October 2014, FINRA states, he recommended that 287 customers sell unit investment trusts “well short” of the products’ maturity dates and roll them over into new unit investment trusts, in spite of the costs associated with purchasing new units in new UITs. FINRA states that most of the UITs he recommended had at least 24-month maturity dates, and came with net sales charges of as much as 3.95%; still, he “recommended that most of his customers sell and roll over their positions in UITs after less than one year.” According to FINRA, the average period these customers held their UIT positions was about 305 days. These recommendations “caused his customers to incur unnecessary excess sales charges” and were unsuitable, according to FINRA, which found his activities constituted violations of NASD Rule 310 and FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, he was issued a four-month suspension and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

Cecil Ross has been registered as a broker with International Assets Advisory in San Antonio, Texas since 2019. His previous registrations include LPL Financial, Raymond James Financial Services, Edward Jones, Merrill Lynch, and Edward Jones & Company. He has passed seven securities industry qualifying examinations and his BrokerCheck report lists one state securities licenses. (Information current as of May 12, 2020.)

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