Entering text into the input field will update the search result below


Jul. 26, 2013 12:46 PM ET
Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2012

Mr. Pearce has tried, arbitrated and mediated numerous disputes involving complex securities, commodities, administrative, contract, commercial, business tort and employment law issues for over 35 years. He has represented hundreds of clients in Federal and state courts (trial and appellate) as well as administrative, arbitration, and mediation proceedings before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodities Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC"), Florida Office Financial Regulation (FlaOFR), Florida Division of Securities & Investor Protection ("FDS"), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), National Association of Securities Dealers regulation, Inc. ("NASD"), New York Stock Exchange, Inc. ("NYSE") and/or National Futures Association ("NFA"). Mr. Pearce is a Florida Circuit Court Civil Mediator and a respected mediator in the FINRA Mediation Program. He also acts as a private judge or arbitrator in mini-trials and arbitration proceedings, respectively. Mr. Pearce has also served as a Federal Court-appointed Receiver- an attorney who is called upon by Federal and state regulators (SEC, CFTC and FlaOFR) to take over companies engulfed in legal problems. Areas of Practice • Courtroom Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation Proceedings Involving • Securities and Commodities Law • Business & Commercial Law • Federal, State and Industry Enforcement Actions • Employment Law A Brokerage Employees Only • Trust / Estate / Guardianship Law • Probate & Estate Administration Education • Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, New York J.D. - 1979 • Hofstra University School of Business, Hempstead, New York M.B.A. - 1979 • Florida Tech B.S. – 1973 Professional Associations and Memberships • American Association for Justice • Florida Justice Association • Broward County Bar Association • Broward County Justice Association • Palm Beach County Bar Association • Palm Beach County Justice Association • Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association • South Palm Beach County Bar Association Past Employment Positions • Lerner & Pearce, P.A., January 1, 1990 - December 31, 1999 • Lerner, Harris, Pearce, P.A., March 1, 1983 - December 31, 1989 • U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, May 1, 1980 - February 28, 1983

Michael Antonio Zurita, a former broker at Orlando, Florida based Orion Trading, LLC, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which Mr. Zurita consented to the described sanction and to the entry of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) findings that he failed to reasonably supervise the sale of unregistered shares of low-priced stock of issuers on behalf of customers. One of the firm's registered representatives effected the sale of the unregistered stocks and failed to conduct a searching inquiry to ensure the sales did not violate Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933. The representative completed deposited securities request (DSR) forms and submitted them to Mr. Zurita for review. Mr. Zurita's review process primarily involved ensuring the forms had been completed in full, but he failed to ensure that the information was accurate, consistent and did not raise any red flags. Mr. Zurita relied on the representative to obtain all relevant information and documentation and determine on his own that the shares were registered or exempt from registration and, according to FINRA, he failed to ensure the representative complied with the requirements of Section 5 and failed to reasonably supervise the sale of unregistered securities.

In FINRA's findings, the Regulator stated that as the President and CCO of his member firm, Mr. Zurita was responsible for developing and maintaining an adequate supervisory system as well as the firm's written supervisory procedures (WSPs) to ensure compliance with applicable laws. Mr. Zurita failed to have procedures in place to prevent the sale of unregistered securities not exempt from registration and that would have identified which individuals were to perform each step of the review and approval process. The findings also stated that Mr. Zurita failed to establish an adequate supervisory system to ensure that unregistered securities were freely tradable. The system was inadequate because it simply required that a principal ensure a DSR form was completed in full, rather than investigate each transaction to determine the existence of any red flags.

Thus, Mr. Zurita, of Orlando, Florida, was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any principal capacity for six months for failure to establish and implement a supervisory system. The suspension is in effect from April 15, 2013, through October 14, 2013.

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 inadequate supervisory systems can bring forth claims to recover losses against broker-dealers such as Orion Trading.

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. Please see our Instablog profile (left column) for ways to contact us and get answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

Recommended For You

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.