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Jaime Melissa Cassino, a former broker with Charlotte, North Carolina based Synergy Investment Group, LLC, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which she consented to the entry of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) findings that she effected 122 discretionary transactions in the account of a customer without the customer's prior written authorization and without her member firm's acceptance of the account as a discretionary account. Ms. Cassino, of Miller Place, New York, was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for one month, and her suspension was in effect from February 19, 2013, through March 18, 2013.

A discretionary account is an account that allows a broker to buy and sell securities without the client's consent. A discretionary account is sometimes referred to as a managed account. Sometimes certain guidelines are set by the client regarding trading in the account. For example, a client might only permit investments in blue chip stocks. The client must sign a discretionary account trading authorization form with the brokerage firm. The execution of any transaction without the client's permission or without a signed discretionary account trading authorization is in violation of FINRA's rules.

Broker-dealers must establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system to protect customers from broker misconduct. If broker-dealers do not establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system, they may be liable to investors for damages flowing from the misconduct. Therefore, investors who have suffered damages due to Ms. Cassino's discretionary activity can bring forth claims to recover losses against Synergy Investment Group, which should have prevented Ms. Cassino from committing the described illegal activity.

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