Securities and Exchange Commission Sustains FINRA Disciplinary Action against Registered Representative and Supervisor

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sustained disciplinary action by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) against William J. Murphy and Carl M. Birkelbach, formerly associated with member firm Birkelbach Investment Securities, Inc.  In its opinion, the Commission sustained FINRA’s finding of sales practice violations by Murphy, which included discretionary trading without authorization, unauthorized trading, unsuitable and excessive trading, churning, and the creation and distribution of misleading communications. In one customer account at issue, Murphy engaged in excessive options trading that generated over one million dollars in commissions in the span of approximately three-and-half years. The Commission also sustained FINRA’s findings of supervisory violations by Birkelbach for ignoring obvious and repeated red flags with regard to Murphy’s handling of customer accounts. Finally, the Commission has sustained FINRA’s imposition of sanctions: a bar in all capacities and the disgorgement of $585,174.67 for Murphy and bar in all capacities for Birkelbach.

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