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August 16, 2006
NFA suspends two associates of Florida futures firms for sales practice violations
August 16, Chicago - National Futures Association has issued a one-year suspension to Christopher H. Harris and a three-month suspension to Louis R. Ferruggia, two associated persons (APs) of futures firms in Florida. The Decisions, issued by NFA's Hearing Committee, are based on the charges contained in NFA Complaints filed in October 2004 and September 2005, and settlement offers submitted by Harris and Ferruggia.
The 2004 Complaint charged that Harris, while an AP at Cromwell Financial Services, a former Introducing Broker (IB) Member of NFA, made deceptive, misleading and high-pressured sales solicitations, which included exaggerated profit claims. In addition, the Complaint charged Harris with downplaying the risk of loss by failing to disclose that almost 90% of Cromwell's customers lost money trading options on futures. The Complaint also charged that Ferruggia, while an AP at Cromwell, failed to give adequate risk disclosure to a customer and failed to discourage the customer from taking an advance on her credit card in order to fund her account.
The 2005 Complaint charged that Harris, while an AP of Liberty Financial Trading Corp., another IB Member of NFA, made misleading and high-pressured sales solicitations to customers.
In addition to the one-year suspension, the Decision stipulates that Harris pay a fine of $25,000 if he is granted NFA membership following the expiration of the suspension. Harris also will be required to tape record all conversations with customers for six months. If Ferruggia is granted registration following the expiration of his three-month suspension, he is required to pay a fine of $5,000 and tape record all conversations with customers for six months.
The complete text of the Complaints and Decisions can be found on NFA's Web site (www.nfa.futures.org).
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