Edward Jones has been hit with a fine of $2.7 million by the NASD.
NASD ruled in an arbitration hearing that one of the firm's brokers overloaded a client's account with unsuitable investments on margin. William and Jean Torrence, clients of Edward Jones, said their joint account had $1.7 million as of the beginning of 2000, but within three months the account had a debit balance of $1.89 million in margin.
The couple claims the broker, Gregory Westray, who has been with the firm for 17 years and had no prior customer complaints, urged them to use margin to buy stock. When the stock dropped, it triggered margin calls. The couple originally asked for nearly $3.2 million in damages and an additional $1.8 million in putative damages, but settled eventually for the $2.7 million figure.
Jones is considering asking a court to vacate the panel's decision, but a spokesperson would not comment further.