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EF Hutton LLC

EF Hutton LLC (CRD #: 103792) is a brokerage firm with locations in New York City and Woodbury, New York. This firm shares its name with one of the original Wall Street giants, founded in 1904. The firm endured a series of scandals in the 1980s, including a check kiting scandal in which the firm allegedly loaned itself money based on customer deposits that had not yet cleared, and a $1 million fine following allegations that certain branches of the firm had assisted an organized crime family with laundering money.  The firm was later acquired by Kingswood Capital, which then created EF Hutton Group. Benchmark Capital, an affiliate of Kingswood Capital, re-branded under the name EF Hutton LLC.

Today, it is known for its larger number of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). These are shell companies that form for the purpose of making a stock market debut and then acquiring a private company. SPACs offer a shortcut for companies who want to raise money via a stock offering but do not want to go through the traditional regulatory hurdles. Following their poor performance in 2022, regulators have signaled that these types of investments may be subject to more scrutiny in the future.

Conflicts of Interest

Under Regulation Best Interest, firms are required to provide customers with a Customer Relationship Summary (Form CRS) that discusses the firm’s conflicts of interest.

Here are a few examples of the conflicts of interest that a Form CRS should address:

  • Certain products come with higher fees. These products include mutual funds.
  • The more transactions that customers execute, the more fees that customers pay. Therefore, brokers have an incentive to encourage clients to trade more frequently.
  • The firm has an incentive to select products and platforms that have the most potential for compensation paid to the firm.

Fees and Commissions

Investors should be aware of the fees imposed by EF Hutton LLC.

  • Margin accounts charge interest, some of which is paid to the firm.
  • Bonds come with “markups” or “markdowns,” which are included in the price of the bond and may not always be obvious to investors.
  • Investors may also pay account maintenance fees, IRA custodial fees, as well as processing, service, and account fees

Did You Lose Money Working with Keith D’Agostino?  

One broker with a significant misconduct record is registered with EF Hutton. At the time he registered with EF Hutton in October 2023, Keith D’Agostino had already settled eight disputes. These settlements, which included allegations of unjust enrichment, unsuitable recommendations, and poor investment performance, collectively settled for approximately $1.1 million.  

Since then, he has racked up another four investor disputes:

  • On May 2, 2024, an investor alleged he recommended unsuitable investment and mismanaged their account.
  • On April 5, 2024, investors alleged that Kenneth D’Agostino recommended unsuitable investments, engaged in negligence, and executed an excessive number of trades. The investor is seeking $500,000.
  • On January 26, 2024, investors alleged that he recommended unsuitable investments and breached his fiduciary duty.
  • On November 3, 2023, an investor alleged that their portfolio had performed poorly. This dispute was settled for $60,000.

Did You Lose Money After Working with EF Hutton?

If you suffered losses after working with an EF Hutton broker, reach out to a Kurta Law securities attorney. Our investment fraud lawyers can help investors recover losses suffered as a result of unfair broker misconduct. There is a limited timeframe for filing complaints, so do not hesitate. Call (877) 600-0098 or email