Victim of Financial Fraud? Call Now

Mike Hartlett Suspended By FINRA For Allegedly Exercising Unauthorized Discretionary Trading 

Dec 28, 2021 Unauthorized Trading

Mike Hartlett (CRD #: 1022139), a broker registered with International Assets Advisory, was suspended by FINRA, according to his BrokerCheck record, accessed on November 24, 2021. Mike Hartlett is also an investment advisor registered with International Assets Investment Management. 

This suspension stems from allegations related to exercising discretionary trading without the prior written authorization of the customer. By virtue of his alleged conduct, Mike Hartlett violated NASD Rule 2510(b) and FINRA Rules 3260(b) and 2010 (b). 

Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent Agreement 

According to an Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent agreement dated October 22, 2021, Mike Hartlett consented to the findings that from May 2018 through February 2020, while associated with LPL Financial, he exercised discretionary trading in a client's account without having obtained prior written authorization of the customer. He allegedly executed a total of 22 unauthorized trades in three accounts.  

FINRA initiated this matter based upon a tip to FINRA's Office of the Whistleblower. 

According to the AWC, in May 2018 a customer opened three brokerage accounts at LPL Financial with Mike Hartlett as the assigned representative. The customer did not execute any documentation granting Mike Hartlett discretionary trading authority in the three accounts. However, the customer verbally gave Hartlett discretionary trading authority. Mike Hartlett did not disclose this grant of authority to the firm. 

The AWC further states Mike Hartlett also falsely stated in three annual compliance questionnaires that he had not exercised discretionary trading authority in any customers' brokerage account. 

You can read a copy of the AWC  here. 

A broker must always have the customer's written permission before executing any transactions on their account. This is in accordance with FINRA Rule 3260(b), which states that a broker shall not exercise any discretionary power in a customer's account unless given prior written authorization. 

A broker executing unauthorized trades in a customer's account also violates FINRA Rule 2010, which requires associated persons to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. 

Sanctions 

As part of the terms of the AWC, Mike Hartlett consented to  a 10-Day suspension and a $5,000 fine. 

Investor Dispute 

On July 30, 2009, a dispute was filed against Mike Hartlett alleging unsuitable investment recommendations. The damage amount requested was $160,000; however, the case was denied. Investors should know that they can still pursue FINRA arbitration and recover their losses following a denial. 

Background Information 

Mike Hartlett has passed the following exams:  

  • Series 63 - Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination 
  • SIE - Securities Industry Essentials Examination 
  • Series 7 - General Securities Representative Examination 
  • Series 22 - Direct Participation Programs Representative Examination 
  • Series 6 - Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination 
  • Series 24 - General Securities Principal Examination 

He is a registered broker in seven states and a registered investment analyst in Pennsylvania. 

Besides International Assets Advisory and International Assets Investment Management, Mike Hartlett has also worked with the following firms: 

  • LPL Financial (CRD#:6413) 
  • Invest Financial Corporation (CRD#:12984) 
  • Financial Network Investment Corporation (CRD#:13572) 
  • Financial Network Advisory (CRD#:117640) 
  • Keogler, Morgan & Company (CRD#:16546) 
  • FSC Securities Corporation (CRD#:7461) 
  • IDS Marketing Corporation (CRD#:6363) 
  • IDS Financial Services (CRD#:6320) 

Kurta Law Can Help 

If you have been victimized after working with Mike Hartlett, don't hesitate to contact us today at 877-600-0098 or info@kurtalawfirm.com for a free consultation. 

For nearly 20 years, Kurta Law has advocated for investors to recover their investment losses from brokers and brokerage firms. Kurta Law is a nationally recognized law firm and exclusively represents investors against brokers and brokerage firms on a contingency basis. This means that the firm only earns a fee if our securities attorneys recover money on your behalf.