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Richard Yada: FINRA Suspends Little Rock Financial Advisor

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Little Rock, Arkansas broker and investment advisor Richard Yada (CRD# 1077317) suspended him over allegations he exercised discretion in customer accounts without authorization. A former representative of LPL Financial, Yada was suspended for two months and fined $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017053623901) dated September 2018, Richard Yada was registered with LPL Financial from May 2009 until February 2017, when the firm disclosed his discharge over allegations he used discretion in customer accounts in contravention of company policies and procedures. FINRA’s findings state that the regulator opened an investigation of his trading practices after this point, and the review determined that from 2009 until 2016 he exercised discretionary authority in 12 customer accounts, but did not receive those customers’ advance written authorization or his firm’s approval of the accounts as discretionary.

FINRA’s findings go on to state that Yada’s discretion use was part of a trading strategy in which “he purchased shares of the same stock on different days and sold the shares if the price fell 15% or more from the original purchase price.” According to FINRA, this strategy led to his execution of “hundreds” of discretionary trades during the period in question, during which he also allegedly acknowledged on annual firm compliance questionnaires that the firm forbade discretionary trading. FINRA’s findings state additionally that when he was questioned directly by the firm if he was using discretion in customer accounts, he said he was not, and did not admit he was until FINRA initiated its inquiry into his conduct. FINRA’s findings state that these activities constituted violations of NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b) and FINRA Rule 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Yada was suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for two months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

Richard Yada’s disclosure records also list one pending customer complaint against him. Filed in 2017, it alleges that as a representative of LPL Financial, he engaged in unauthorized and excessive trading “for commissions.” The complaint alleges damages of $170,000.

Richard Yada is currently not registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes LPL Financial in Little Rock, Arkansas; Citigroup Global Markets in Little Rock, Arkansas; Merrill Lynch in New York, New York; and Structured Shelters Securities. He currently holds zero state licenses and has passed four securities industry qualification examinations.

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