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Leo Hansen: Merrill Lynch Advisor Resigned over Trading Allegations

Former San Francisco financial advisor Leo Hansen (CRD# 3207894) allegedly made excessive trades in a customer’s account, according to a recent investor complaint. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records show that the former Merrill Lynch representative is no longer registered as a broker or an investment advisor.

Mr. Hansen’s BrokerCheck report discloses one investor complaint. Filed in January 2024, it alleges that as a representative of Merrill Lynch, he excessively traded the customer’s account and did not act in her best interest from January 2021 until January 2024. The pending complaint alleges unspecified damages.

A second disclosure on his BrokerCheck report concerns his resignation from Merrill Lynch. Filed in February 2024, it states that he submitted his voluntary resignation from the firm in connection with allegations of “Conduct including excessive and unauthorized trading in client accounts.”

Investors should be aware that FINRA rules prohibit brokers like Mr. Hansen from trading securities without customer authorization. FINRA Rule 3260, for example, describes specific conditions under which brokers can execute discretionary trades; it also prohibits the exercise of discretionary authority without a customer’s prior written authorization and a firm’s written acceptance of the account as discretionary. FINRA Rule 2010, meanwhile, states that FINRA-associated persons must “observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade,” which generally means that they may not conduct unauthorized trades. Brokers who violate these rules may be held liable for damages.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Leo Hansen holds 24 years of securities industry experience. Most recently based in San Francisco, California, he was registered as a broker with Merrill Lynch from 2009 until 2024. His past registrations include Banc of America Investment Services (San Francisco, California; 2003-2009), Citigroup Global Markets (New York, New York; 2001-2003), and Morgan Stanley DW (Purchase, New York; 1999-2001). His credentials include the passage of four securities industry qualifying exams: the General Securities Representative Examination, or Series 7; the Futures Managed Funds Examination, or Series 31; the Securities Industry Essentials Examination, or SIE; and the Uniform Combined State Law Examination, or Series 66. He is no longer registered as a broker or an investment advisor. (Information current as of June 5, 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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