FINRA Suspends Christopher Hickman Over UIT Sales

Christopher Hickman, a registered representative from Boynton Beach, Florida, formerly with Cetera Advisors, was fined and suspended from FINRA membership as a result of an investigation into his Unit Investment Trust (UIT) trading for multiple clients, conduct deemed a violation of FINRA rules. Hickman entered into an acceptance, waiver and consent agreement with FINRA in which he neither admitted nor denied the findings, but agreed to a suspension of five months and a fine of $5,000.

In June 2017, Christopher Hickman agreed to the suspension and FINRA published its findings that Hickman encouraged six customers to buy UITs, and then traded them carelessly within a short period of time.

The UITs that Hickman dealt with had 24 month maturities, but Hickman traded them in less than 5 months. He told his customers to use the profits from these trades to buy additional, smaller UITs for him to manage. Overall, Hickman’s clients lost over $100,000 and the AWC disclosed that he entered into a settlement agreement with them in order to pay back their losses plus interest.

Christopher Hickman’s registration and disciplinary history

In order to lawfully sell investments to the public, one must either be registered or exempt from registration.

Christopher Hickman was registered with Cetera Advisors from September 2009 to July 2015 and Banc of America Investment Services from March 2006 to August 2009.

According to FINRA’s CRD disclosure report, Christopher Hickman has been the subject of seven customer complaints and one regulatory investigation.

FINRA is the primary regulator for broker dealers and registered representatives in the United States. FINRA’s role is to promulgate standards and practices for the brokerage industry and to ensure compliance with its rules by licensed entities and individuals.

FINRA has two primary ways to ensure compliance with the securities laws: by means of an enforcement unit that investigates and disciplines wrongdoing, and through the establishment of an arbitration forum where investors can resolve disputes against broker dealers. FINRA’s arbitration forum, FINRA Dispute Resolution is the largest arbitration forum in the country for resolving investor disputes, and typically processes over 10,000 filings annually.

The Law Office of David Liebrader practices exclusively in the field of investment loss recovery. For the past 24 years, we have dedicated our law practice to assisting investors who have been victims of investment fraud via unlawful and unsuitable investment transactions. During that time, we have recovered money for over one thousand individuals, pension plans, trusts, and companies. The recoveries we have obtained via judgments, awards and settlements on behalf of our clients exceed $40,000,000.

If you suspect that you have been the victim of investment fraud, or had a financial advisor recommend unsuitable investments to you, call us today for a free, confidential consultation at (702) 380-3131.

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