Pletscher exercised discretion in customer accounts despite the fact that his member firmís WSPs strictly prohibited discretionary trading in customer accounts, and he was aware of this prohibition.
The firm required that its registered representatives place trade orders immediately after receiving the customerís authorization for trades, but at times Pletscher received oral authorization from customers to place trades in their accounts, yet he waited several weeks or months before placing the trades.
Pletscher requested to have variable annuity holdings for customers transferred into money market accounts without the customersí authorization. The customers requested the unauthorized transactions be reversed, causing his firm to incur reversal fees of $8,863.37.
Pletscherís firm required its customers review and sign transaction related forms, but Pletscher instructed customers to provide transaction forms that contained only the customersí signatures, which Pletscher later completed and submitted to the firm for processing, despite his firm prohibiting him from accepting incomplete forms from customers. Pletscher knew that by allowing his customers to pre-sign blank forms, he failed to ensure that customers had properly reviewed and understood the agreements they had signed. In addition, Pletscher caused the firmís books and records to be false and misleading and to appear that the customers had agreed to the terms of each form on the date the forms were signed in blank.