Morgan Stanley’s Meridian Wealth Management Group Involved in $15 Million Options Complaint


Members of Morgan Stanley’s Meridian Wealth Group are involved in a $15 million dispute according to FINRA.  The members, Christopher McCaffrey (CRD# 2735236), Elizabeth Layne (CRD# 4497721), Michael Spector (CRD# 2857657), and Michael Wagner (CRD# 4465334) are all involved in the same dispute. According to their Financial Industry Regulatory Authority BrokerCheck reports, accessed on December 21, 2021, all four individuals are currently registered with Morgan Stanley, whose website lists them as members of The Meridian Wealth Management Group. Records show Layne, Spector, and Wagner are based in the firm’s Atlanta office, while McCaffrey is based in Napa, California.

Investor: Unsuitable Options Strategy Caused $15.7 Million Losses

The pending complaint against Christopher McCaffrey, Elizabeth Layne, Michael Spector, and Michael Wagner was filed in November 2021. It details allegations of misrepresentations and unsuitable recommendations connected to an options trading strategy. The customer is seeking $15,708,558 in damages in the complaint, whose allegations have not been proven.

Pending Complaint Against Michael Wagner Alleges $5 Million Losses

Michael Wagner’s BrokerCheck report lists one other pending complaint involving him. Filed in November 2020, it alleges misrepresentation connected to an options strategy. The customers are seeking $5,162,453 in damages in the pending complaint.

FINRA Forbids Unsuitable Recommendations

Suitability complaints denote allegations that a broker recommended investments and/or investment strategies that were inappropriate for a customer’s individual background and objectives. FINRA rules require brokers to recommend only investments considered suitable for their clients; they ascertain the suitability of a product or strategy by identifying the client’s investment profile, which includes such factors as the client’s age, income, net worth, investment experience, investment goals, risk tolerance, and more. Brokers are similarly required not to provide investors with incomplete or inaccurate representations of the investments they’re recommending, as misleading advice might cause the client to make unsuitable investments. Brokers who misrepresent material facts and/or recommend unsuitable investments may be found liable for damages and even held subject to disciplinary action by FINRA.

Meridian Wealth Group Licensed with Morgan Stanley

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Christopher McCaffrey has 25 years of experience in the securities industry; his registration history includes AG Edwards & Sons and Morgan Stanley. Elizabeth Layne, meanwhile, has 19 years of experience in the industry, with her registration history including both Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Michael Spector’s 24 years of experience includes stints at Robert Thomas Securities, Raymond James Financial Services, and Citigroup Global Markets. Finally, Michael Wagner’s 20 years in the industry includes registrations with Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Records show that Layne, Spector, and Wagner are based in Atlanta, Georgia, while McCaffrey is based in Napa, California.

More information on the brokers affiliated with Morgan Stanley’s Meridian Wealth Group, including the $15 million customer complaint against them, is available via their FINRA-provided BrokerCheck reports: Christopher McCaffrey, Elizabeth Layne, Michael Spector, and Michael Wagner. (The above-referenced information was accessed on December 21, 2021.)

Did You Lose Money Investing in Options with Meridian Wealth Group?

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