The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has barred former Merrill Lynch advisor Thomas J. Buck from the securities industry. Buck also has reached a settlement with the regulator for more than $5 million.
Buck Charged Excessive Commissions and Fees
Last October, Buck pleaded guilty to overcharging clients by millions of dollars. From 2012 through March 2015, Buck received more than $2.5 million in excessive commissions and fees from at least 50 clients.
Thomas J. Buck formerly led “The Buck Team,” a top producing team of advisors based in Carmel, Indiana, with more than 3,000 accounts and $1.3 billion in assets under management.
According to the SEC, Buck placed clients into commission-based accounts rather than less expensive fee-based alternatives and did not disclose this information. He also did not tell clients that his commissions exceeded promised limits and he frequently placed unauthorized trades in client accounts.
Buck Barred by FINRA, Faced FBI Probe
Merrill Lynch fired Thomas J. Buck in March 2015 and Buck was barred from the brokerage business by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) shortly thereafter. He also was the subject of an FBI probe that resulted in one count of securities fraud. He pled guilty and faces up to 25 years in prison.
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