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Peter Marketos: Oppenheimer Advisor Suspended Over High Yield Bond Allegations

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former New Jersey and New York City broker and investment advisor Peter Marketos (CRD# 1997184) suspended him over allegations he recommended unsuitable concentrations in high yield bonds. A former representative of Oppenheimer & Company and Raymond James & Associates, Marketos was suspended for one year and fined $20,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2016049840101) dated December 2018, Peter Marketos made unsuitable recommendations between 2011 and 2015 that three customers concentrate their investments “in speculative high yield bonds. According to FINRA’s findings, one of the customer was a retired man over 65 years old with a liquid net worth “of only $200,000,” and no experience investing in corporate or high yield bonds. FINRA’s findings state that when he opened his account, he informed Peter Marketos that he could not tolerate major principal losses; still, Marketos recommended that he concentrate the account in “speculative high yield corporate bonds that were rated below investment grade.” After several years, according to FINRA, he lost the principal he had invested in a number of oil and gas companies’ bonds after their issuers declared bankruptcy.

FINRA’s findings state similarly that Peter Marketos recommended a retired married couple invest in high yield bonds, including oil and gas bonds whose issuers eventually declared bankruptcy, causing the couple to lose the principal they had invested. FINRA notes also that the couple “never told Marketos that they wanted to speculate in their accounts.” FINRA’s findings state that Marketos recommended a third customer, who had a limited income “comprised mainly of disability benefits” and no experience investing in such securities, “concentrate her account in high yield bonds.” Like the other customers, FINRA states, she lost the principal she invested in an oil and gas company’s bonds after the bond issuer declared bankruptcy.

FINRA’s findings go on to state that Marketos made negligent material misrepresentations and omissions to customers about high yield bond products, including misleading assurances that bonds would return the married couple’s principal. He also allegedly negligently misrepresented information about the federal funds rate in a 2013 email to about 200 customers. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Peter Marketos was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $20,000 and restitution of approximately $5,000 to one customer affected by his conduct.

Peter Marketos is not currently registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Cantella & Company in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey; Raymond James & Associates in Paramus, New Jersey; Oppenheimer & Company in New York City; and Prime Charter in New York City. He currently holds no state licenses and has passed four securities industry qualification examinations.

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