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Charles Eugene Bishop Jr. has been fined $7,500 and suspended for two years by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for attempting to misappropriate approximately $3 million from an elderly client while he was at Merrill Lynch. FINRA's findings stated that Mr. Bishop generated paperwork by which the deceased client's assets would be transferred to a purported entity that was never formed, but whose name was identical to a company the client owned, with a tax identification number assigned by the IRS to a different entity that was never formed, but whose sole member was Mr. Bishop.

In order to carry out his scheme, Mr. Bishop had the client sign a firm form that designated Mr. Bishop's entity. Even though the client's signature was notarized, the client was not present when the form was notarized by the notary. In addition, the tax identification number on another firm form the client signed was changed to the tax identification number associated with Mr. Bishop's entity. Furthermore, the findings stated that after the client passed away, Mr. Bishop filed a notice, through his attorney, with his state's probate division asserting that he had an interest in the deceased client's estate as beneficiary. The court eventually issued an order invalidating the beneficiary designations after Mr. Bishop was terminated from Merrill Lynch.

Broker-dealers must establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system to protect clients from fraudulent practices by their brokers. If broker-dealers do not establish and/or implement a reasonable supervisory system, they may be liable to investors for damages. Therefore, investors who have suffered damages resulting from the misappropriation of their funds by their broker can bring forth claims to recover losses against their broker-dealer for failure to prevent such illegal activity.

Have you suffered damages resulting from a misappropriation of your funds by your broker? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation.

The most important of investors' rights is the right to be informed! This Investors' Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 30 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors' rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our website,, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.