Iorio Altamirano LLP is investigating claims on behalf of customers of Calton & Associates, Inc. after the firm was censured, fined $250,000, and ordered to pay $472,007 in restitution to harmed investors by FINRA.
The sanctions involve supervisory failures between February 2014 and February 2020 related to suitability obligations connected with the sale of non-traditional and volatility-linked exchange-traded products (ETPs). Non-traditional and volatility-linked ETPs are complex products intended to be held for short periods of time as part of a trading strategy rather than as buy-and-hold investments. Although the firm was aware of the complex nature of the products, Calton permitted its representatives to offer the products to retail customers without a reasonable supervisory system to properly understand the products’ features and risks and review and monitor transactions. Consequently, Calton representatives recommended non-traditional and volatility-linked ETPs to retail customers without understanding the products were intended for short-term trading rather than as buy-and-hold investments, and the firm’s customers held the products for longer periods of time, resulting in losses.
In addition, during the period from January 1, 2014, to June 21, 2018, Calton failed to offer retail customers educational materials prior to their first purchases of collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs), and it failed to establish, maintain, and enforce a supervisory system, including written supervisory procedures (WSPs), reasonably designed to achieve compliance with FINRA rules.