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Richard Niemann: UBS Advisor Suspended Over Unauthorized Trading Allegations

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against Sugar Land, Texas broker and investment advisor Richard Niemann (CRD# 348144) suspended him over allegations he participated in unauthorized discretionary trading. A representative of UBS Financial Services, Niemann was suspended for 15 days and fined $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2018057927801) dated March 2019, Niemann executed “approximately 400 discretionary trades in 13 accounts belonging to 11 customers” of UBS Financial Services between June 2010 and November 2017. FINRA’s findings state that he did not receive those customers’ prior written authorization for the trades, nor his firm’s approval of the accounts in question for discretionary trading. FINRA notes that his clients had given him “express or implied authority to exercise discretion,” but had not given him written authority. The regulator notes further that UBS’s written supervisory procedures forbade its representatives from making discretionary trades. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Richard Niemann was suspended from associating in any capacity with any FINRA member for 15 days. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

Richard Niemann’s disclosure records also list two customer complaints against him that reached settlements. A 2008 complaint regarding his conduct as a representative at UBS Financial Services, for instance, concerned the sale of an auction rate security before the “widespread illiquidity” in the market for auction rate securities. As part of a settlement of the complaint, UBS agreed to repurchase the securities at par value from the customer, for $575,000. Another 2008 complaint also concerned an auction rate security sale and settled with a repurchase by UBS at par value, for $75,000.

Richard Niemann has been registered with UBS Financial Services in Sugar Land, Texas since 2002. His employment history includes Salomon Smith Barney, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch. He currently holds eleven state registrations and has passed eleven securities industry qualification examinations.

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