Craig David Dima, formerly a registered representative with K.C. Ward Financial in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., has been barred from the securities industry for making unauthorized and unsuitable trades totaling approximately $15 million in a 73-year-old retiree's account, and for misrepresenting the reasons for the trades to the customer, according to a release.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. found that on 11 occasions, Mr. Dima sold virtually all of the customer's Colgate-Palmolive stock, accumulated over 28 years of employment at the company, without the customer's permission. Finra found that Mr. Dima sold the shares even after the customer told him not to sell the stock, which she considered a valuable long-term investment and reliable source of dividends. When confronted by the customer about the sales, Mr. Dima told her they were caused by a "computer glitch" or a technical error.
In connection with Mr. Dima's unauthorized sales and subsequent repurchases of Colgate stock, Mr. Dima charged the customer more than $375,000 in mark-ups, mark-downs and fees and deprived the customer of $127,000 in dividends had she held the Colgate shares as intended, Finra said.
Finra found that Mr. Dima's trading of the customer's Colgate shares violated rules prohibiting excessive mark-ups and mark-downs. Mr. Dima nether admitted or denied the charges, but consented to Finra's findings.