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Investigation: Shawn E. Burns, broker at Salomon Whitney LLC

The law offices of Colling Gilbert Wright and Carter is investigating and in the process of filing a FINRA arbitration claim against Salomon Whitney Broker Shawn E. Burns. According to FINRA’s Broker Check, Mr. Burns’ record reflects multiple customer complaints alleging unauthorized trading, failure to follow instructions, suitability, misrepresentation, fraud, churning, and breach of fiduciary duty. His record also reflects at least one termination after a customer complaint alleged unauthorized trading.

Mr. Burns has been employed in the securities industry since January, 1999. In the fifteen plus years he has been employed as a registered representative, Burns has been employed by at least 10 different firms, including Global Capital Markets, Cantella & Co. Inc., Murphy & Durieu, J.P Turner & Company, Westrock Advisors (expelled by FINRA in 2011), First Midwest Securities , Cape Securities and finally, Salomon Whitney LLC where he is on his second stint as a registered representative.

Mr. Burns’ Broker Check record indicates 12 customer complaints filed against him, one termination, and five judgments or liens. A broker with this many disclosures is a rarity. Statistically, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure events on their Central Record Depository (CRD). The number of brokers with multiple customer complaints is far smaller and in fact, statistics show less than 1% of all brokers have more five or more customer complaints.

There are currently three pending complaints (including the one filed by Colling Gilbert Wright) concerning Burns, two of which allege Mr. Burns practiced high-pressure sales tactics, churned customer accounts, and recommended unsuitable trades. Burns’ termination concerns allegations of unauthorized trades in a customer’s account and a failure to follow instructions. For the most part, Mr. Burns has denied any involvement with the activity complained of and indicates he intends to “vigorously” defend himself against the allegations.

Further, Mr. Burns has been the subject of at least $70,000.00 in tax liens over the past five years. Liens and judgments are indicative of financial hardship/debt and a prime motivator for high commission generating trading activity. As concerning, a stock broker who cannot properly manage his own finances probably should not be in the  position of managing the investments and finances of clients.

Clients of Mr. Burns and Salomon Whitney, who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through FINRA securities arbitration. The experienced securities fraud attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright have successfully represented hundreds of investors in cases of unsuitable trading, negligence, breaches of fiduciary duty and failures in supervision. Our case reviews are free of charge and our firm is only compensated if you receive compensation for your losses.