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Jeffrey Russell: FINRA Suspends Kovack, Russell Wealth Advisor

Former Morgan Stanley broker Jeffrey Russell (CRD# 2516610) was recently sanctioned in connection with allegations that he effected unauthorized mutual fund transactions in hundreds of customers’ accounts. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and Securities and Exchange Commission records show that he is currently registered as an investment advisor with Kovack Advisors in San Clemente, California. He does business as Russell Wealth Management.

Mr. Russell’s BrokerCheck report discloses the November 2023 FINRA sanction against him. According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (No. 2021071685401), he “effected 657 unauthorized purchases of a mutual fund in 610 of his customers’ firm brokerage accounts.” FINRA also found that he made unauthorized purchases of a different mutual fund in the accounts of six customers. While the former set of transactions did not result in any commissions for Mr. Russell, FINRA alleged, the latter transactions “generated $2,999 in commissions” for him. In connection with these findings, FINRA fined him $5,000, ordered him to pay $2,999 in disgorgement, and suspended him from associating with any FINRA member firm for six months.

Another disclosure on his BrokerCheck report concerns a recent investor complaint. Filed in January 2023, it alleged that as a representative of Morgan Stanley, he made an unauthorized mutual fund purchase. In March 2023 the complaint reached a settlement of $16,000.

A third disclosure concerns his termination from Morgan Stanley. Filed in May 2021, it states that the firm fired him in connection with allegations that he “effected certain transactions in client accounts without obtaining client authorization beforehand” and that he failed to escalate a customer complaint.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and Securities and Exchange Commission, Jeffrey Russell holds 29 years of securities industry experience. Based in San Clemente, California, he has been an investment advisor with Kovack Advisors since 2021, doing business as Russell Wealth Management. His registration history includes Morgan Stanley (Newport Beach, California; 2010-2021) and Merrill Lynch (Laguna Hills, California; 1994-2010). His credentials include the passage of eight securities industry qualifying exams: the General Securities Sales Supervisor – Options Module Examination, or Series 9; the General Securities Sales Supervisor – General Module Examination, or Series 10; the General Securities Representative Examination, or Series 7; the National Commodity Futures Examination, or Series 3; the Securities Industry Essentials Examination, or SIE; the General Securities Representative Examination, or Series 7TO; the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, or Series 63; and the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, or Series 65. He is licensed in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, New York, and Texas. (Information current as of January 15, 2024.)

Carlson Law represents investors throughout the United States in claims against financial advisors and investment firms. If you or a loved one have suffered investment losses, please call us at 888-976-6111 or complete our contact form for a free and confidential consultation.

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