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Paul Gershon Sanctioned: Unauthorized Trading Allegations Against Former RBC Advisor

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Leawood, Kansas broker and investment advisor Paul Gershon (CRD# 221357) suspended him over allegations he engaged in unauthorized discretionary trading. A former representative of RBC Capital Markets and Oppenheimer & Company, Gershon was suspended for 15 days and fined $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2018060156201) dated March 2019, Paul Gershon exercised discretion when, in June 2018, he executed 61 transactions in “29 customer accounts.”  FINRA’s findings state that he failed to receive these customers’ authorization for the trades in question before he executed them. FINRA goes on to state that he also lacked these customers’ written authorization to make discretionary trades in their account, and further that he neither sought nor received the prior written acceptance of his member firm, RBC Capital Markets, of the accounts in question for discretionary trading.

According to FINRA, Gershon’s conduct constituted violations of two FINRA and NASD rules. One is NASD Rule 2510(b), which states in part that registered representatives cannot exercise discretionary authority in customer accounts without the customer’s prior written authorization and the firm’s prior written acceptance of the account in question as discretionary. The other is FINRA Rule 2010, which requires firms and representatives to “observe high standards of commercial honor” as well as “just and equitable principles of trade.” FINRA notes that a violation of NASD Rule 2510(b) constitutes a violation of FINRA Rule 2010.

As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Paul Gershon was issued a 15-day suspension from association with any FINRA member firm in any capacity. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

Paul Gershon is not currently registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes RBC Capital Markets in Leawood, Kansas, Oppenheimer & Company, Piper Jaffray, BC Christopher Securities, and EF Hutton & Company. He currently holds no state registrations and has passed six securities industry qualification examinations.

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