CMD Investigating Claims Against Clay Emerson Hoffman and Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. for Unauthorized Trading


Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating potential claims against securities broker Clay E. Hoffman and Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. for engaging in the unauthorized trading of securities.

Recently, Mr. Hoffman submitted an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 15 business days. Without admitting or denying the findings, Mr. Hoffman consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he executed discretionary transactions in a customer’s account without the customer’s prior written authorization to exercise discretionary trading power and without his member firm’s written approval of the account as discretionary.

According to Mr. Hoffman ‘s FINRA BrokerCheck, he has been the subject of fourteen (14) customer complaints and one (1) regulatory event.

Prior to placing an order to buy or sell securities for an investor a broker or advisor must obtain the express permission of that investor on the day the transaction occurs.  If not, the transaction is unauthorized.

NYSE Rule 408(a) and FINRA Rules 2510(b) and 2020 explicitly prohibit brokers from making discretionary trades in a customers’ non-discretionary accounts. The SEC has also found that unauthorized trading violates just and equitable principles of trade and constitutes violations of Rule 10b and 10b-5 due to its fraudulent nature.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Clay Emerson Hoffman or Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 for a free and confidential case evaluation.