Melissa Kay Snowden – and the firm that employs him or her – is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
If you are like most people, before you go out to dinner at a new restaurant, you probably take a quick look at the reviews. This makes sense; you are going to pay for an expensive dinner, and you need to be sure that you are getting a good value.
Yet, when choosing a financial advisor, many people fail to conduct this same level of due diligence. Before turning over access to your money, you need to be sure that you have found a financial advisor that you can trust. Here, our audit report, including details of allegations, complaints, and sanctions will help you decide whether or not to invest with Melissa Kay Snowden.
BrokerComplaints.com is currently investigating allegations related to Melissa Kay Snowden. We provide a free platform for investors to help them in their claims against negligent brokers and brokerage firms.
About Melissa Snowden
Melissa Kay Snowden is an Investment Adviser. Melissa Kay Snowden’s Central Registration Depository (CRD) number is 4142825 and the FINRA Profile can be found at – https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/4142825.
Click here to download a Detailed Audit Report for Melissa Kay Snowden.
Melissa Kay Snowden has previously been reprimanded and has disclosures and/or client dispute(s) listed at FINRA BrokerCheck.
Accusations and Disclosures
You can find below, a quick snapshot of Melissa Kay Snowden’s regulatory actions, arbitrations, and complaints.
DISCLOSURE 1 –
- Event Date: 12/22/1987
- Disclosure Type: Criminal
- Disclosure Resolution: Final Disposition
- Disclosure Detail :: Criminal Charges :: Charges: I WAS CHARGED WITH 1 COUNT POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE A SCHEDULE 1 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, A FELONY, BECAUSE I WAS IN THE CAR WHEN THE DRIVER DID A DRUG DEAL. I WAS OUT OF THE COUNTRY AND WHEN I RETURNED I FOUND OUT I HAD A WARRANT FOR MY ARREST, I TURNED MYSELF IN TO THE POLICE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS, BUT WAS CHARGED AND SENTENCED IN FEDERAL COURT IN DALLAS, TEXAS. IT WAS IN THE FEDERAL COURT THAT I PLEAD GUILTY UNDER A PLEA BARGAIN AGREEMENT.
- Charge Type: FELONY
- Disposition: I WAS CONVICTED IN APPROX. MAY 1988 AND SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS, I ACTUALLY WENT TO PRISON A MONTH LATER IN APPROX. JUNE 1988. I WAS RELEASED IN 39 MONTHS, AND GIVEN PROBATION FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SENTENCE.
- Broker Comment: THE DRUG CHARGE WAS CONSIDERED GUILT BY ASSOCIATION. I WAS AT THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME, I WAS IN THE CAR WHEN THE DRIVER SOLD SOME DRUGS, I DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS GOING TO DO IT. NO ONE WAS ARRESTED AT THAT TIME. INFACT, HE WAS ARRESTED SOME TIME LATER WHEN I WAS OVERSEAS DOING A MODELING JOB. WHILE QUESTIONING THE 9 INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE ARRESTED, MY NAME WAS GIVEN TO THE POLICE AS SOMEONE IN THE CAR WHEN THE DRUG DEAL WAS DONE. I WAS MODELING AT THE TIME AND WENT OVERSEAS ON A CONTRACT, WHEN I RETURNED TO THE STATES, I FOUND OUT THERE WAS A WARRANT OUT FOR MY ARREST. I WAS JUST 19YRS OLD, I HAD MOVED OUT OF MY HOUSE AND WAS MODELING AND WAS DRIVING WITH SOME NEW FRIENDS WHEN THE DRIVER SOLD SOME DRUGS TO SOMEONE. BECAUSE I TURNED MYSELF IN, THE COURT ALLOWED ME TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY SEVERAL TIMES PRIOR TO THE HEARING, THIS TO MY ATTORNEY AND MYSELF SUGGESTED THAT THEY WERE NOT GOING TO GO HARD ON ME SINCE I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING BUT WAS JUST PRESENT AND I HAD NO PRIOR CRIMAL HISTORY. I WAS TOLD THAT THEY WOULD FIND ME GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION AND THAT I SHOULD PLEAD GUILTY AND TAKE A PLEA BARGAIN. MY MODELING CARREER WAS REALLY TAKING OFF, MY ATTORNEY COUNSELLED ME TO PLEAD GUILTY AND GET THIS BEHIND ME. I SHOULD NEVER HAVE DONE IT, I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING – I WAS JUST THERE AND SOMEONE IMPLICATED ME TO GET ABETTER PLEA BARGAIN. I WAS TOLD THAT I WOULD PROBABLY GET A SMALL FINE, INSTEAD, I WAS SENTENCES TO 5 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON! I SERVED 39 MONTHS AND WAS RELEASED ON PROBATION. I MADE SURE TO NEVER BE AROUND ANY QUESTIONABLE ASSOCIATES AGAIN AND HAVE NEVER BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW BEFORE OR AFTER THIS EVENT. I AM A SUCCESSFUL REAL ESTATE BROKER WITH A FAMILY AND BUSINESS OF MY OWN. THIS IS VERY EMBARRASSING FOR ME AND I INTEND ON FILING FOR AN EXPUNGEMENT OF MY RECORD AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
DISCLOSURE 2 –
- Event Date: 12/22/1987
- Disclosure Type: Criminal
- Disclosure Resolution: Final Disposition
- Disclosure Detail :: Criminal Charges :: Charges: I WAS CHARGED WITH 3 COUNTS OF THEFT BY CHECK AND PLEAD GUILTY IN TRAVIS COUNTY COURHOUSE, AUSTIN, TEXAS.
- Charge Type: MISDEMEANOR
- Disposition: CONVICTED OF A MISDEMEANOR AROUND JANUARY 1988, SENTENCES TO PAY RESTITUTION AND A FINE TOTALING APPROX. $1000. I PAID THE FINE IMMEDIATELY.
- Broker Comment: WHEN I WAS 19YRS OLD I STARTED TO MODEL, AFTER MAKING SOME GOOD MONEY AND LANDED A MODELING ASSIGNMENT OVERSEAS. I CLOSED OUT MY CHECKING ACCOUNT TO GO OVER, NOT REALIZING THAT ALL OF THE CHECKS HAD NOT CLEARED. I DID HAVE THE MONEY, IT WAS AN OVERSIGHT. WHEN I RETURNED I FOUND OUT THERE WAS A WARRANT FOR MY ARREST, I TURNED MYSELF IN AND PAID THE FINES AND RETRIBUTION IMMEDIATELY.
According to a study prepared for the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 80 percent of American investors report that they have been solicited to participate in a fraud scheme, while 11 percent of American investors report that they personally lost money as a result of fraud.
FINRA notes that the rate of investment fraud is most likely much higher than it is reported. This is because many victims of financial advisor scams are too ashamed to come forward. Further, the study also found that a significant number of investors do not know how to spot common red flags of investment fraud. The least you should do is share your experience with other potential victims of investment scams.
Under federal securities law and securities industry regulations, registered investment firms have a legal duty to supervise their financial advisors. Section 15(b)(4)(E) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 makes a securities firm liable for the conduct of representatives.
- DIRECT CAPITAL SECURITIES, INC. (CRD#: 29639) :: 3/1/2007 – 10/6/2008 :: AUSTIN, TX
The duty to supervise securities representatives is a strong legal requirement. Registered investment firms must take many different steps to ensure that they are protecting their customers from irresponsible and criminal financial advisors.
Legit or Not?
Unfortunately, stockbroker fraud is more common than many investors would like to think. And yes, stockbrokers (including Melissa Kay Snowden, but not limited to) can (and do) steal money from their clients. While it’s rare that a broker will literally steal his client’s money (though that does happen), typically the “theft” of investment funds comes in the form of other fraudulent violations of securities law and FINRA rules which leads to significant investment losses.
Investors generally understand that there are risks associated with buying and selling securities. The market can go up, and the market can go down. No matter how skilled of an investor you are, there are always risks. With that being said, sometimes investment losses cannot be blamed on simple back luck.
There are 10 major types of complaints we receive against Investment Brokers –
- Outright Theft (Conversion of Funds)
- Unauthorized Trading
- Misrepresentation or Omission of Material Facts
- Excessive Trading (Churning)
- Lack of Diversification
- Unsuitable Investment Recommendations
- Failure to Disclose a Personal Conflict of Interest
- Front Running of Transactions
- Breakpoint Sale Violations
- Negligent Portfolio Management
Do your due diligence before investing. Public records are available for everybody to review and decide on the safest bet.
How to Protect Yourself
We, as citizens, place a great deal of trust in the financial advisors who are tasked with helping us achieve and maintain financial security. Most of the time financial advisors and stockbrokers are honest folks who work diligently in their client’s best interests. However, on occasion financial advisors and the brokerage firms who employ them mess up and cause serious financial harm to their clients. Sometimes these losses are caused by simple negligence. Other times fraud or other serious misconduct is to blame.
Here are 5 signs that your broker needs to be reported –
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, certain investment professionals, known as registered investment advisors (RIAs), owe fiduciary obligations to their customers. Your investment broker must always look out for your best interests. If you lost money because of your broker’s breach of fiduciary duty, you may be entitled to compensation for the full value of your damages.
- Unsuitable Investments: Many financial advisors are not fiduciaries. Instead, they are held to the suitability standard. These stockbrokers and financial advisors can only sell and recommend financial products that are appropriate for a customer’s unique investment profile. If you lost money in unsuitable investments, you should consider reporting them.
- Material Misrepresentations or Omissions: Brokers have a duty to make fair and honest representations to their clients. If they fail to do so, and an investor loses money due to a misrepresentation or a material omission, the broker may be liable for the investor’s losses.
- Lack of Diversification: Brokers must also act with the appropriate level of professional skill. Pushing a customer into over-concentrated investments is highly risky. Brokers can be held liable for losses sustained because of an investor’s inappropriate lack of diversification.
- Excessive Trading (Churning): Stockbrokers and financial advisors must have a well-grounded, reasonable basis to execute all trades. Unfortunately, there are cases in which brokers will frequently trade on a customer’s account, simply to increase their own fees. This unlawful practice is known as churning.
- Unauthorized Trading: Brokers must have the proper legal authority to make transactions on behalf of a client. If you lost money because your broker made trades that you never approved of, you may have been the victim of unauthorized trading. You should consult with an experienced attorney.
Report Melissa Snowden
In order to prevail in an investment fraud lawsuit or FINRA arbitration cases, you must be able to assert a viable ‘cause of action’.
Melissa Kay Snowden – and the firm that employs this broker – is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA provides an online form to allow investors to file a formal complaint against their financial advisor, stockbroker, or brokerage firm.
Click here to go to FINRA’s Online Complaint Form →
This form will ask you for specific information related to your complaint. Be prepared by gathering the following:
- Name and symbol for the investment product in question.
- The CRD number (4142825) for the broker – Melissa Kay Snowden
- Your complete contact information.
Remember, it is advised to report your broker to FINRA, only after you have exhausted all of your other remedies and carefully prepared a compelling complaint. Once you file a complaint against your broker at FINRA, your case will be bound by FINRA’s rules and the arbitration panel’s eventual decision. The time clock will start, and your complaint will be served on your broker or broker-dealer.
The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the source BrokerComplaints.com and do not necessarily reflect the official position of ‘The Skeptic Files,’ which shall not be held liable for any inaccuracies presented. The information provided within this article is for general informational purposes only. While we try to keep the information up-to-date and correct, there are no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability of the information in this article for any purpose.
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