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SEC bars former LPL advisor for churning client accounts

The SEC said it has barred former LPL Financial advisor Paul T. Lebel from the industry for "fraudulent" churning in mutual funds shares that generated him $50,037 in commissions in four of his clients' accounts. In particular, the SEC found that Lebel excessively traded shares that carried large front-end loads.

"Lebel’s excessive trading was inconsistent with the customers’ investment objectives, and willfully disregarded the customers’ interest," the SEC said in a statement. "Mutual fund A shares are designed for long-term, buy-and-hold investing and are unsuited for any known strategy involving frequent trading."

The SEC said Lebel should pay the $50,037 in disgorgement, plus prejudgment interest of $6,489, according to the order. However, the commission waived all but $10,000 to be paid in quarterly installments over the three years, due to Lebel's stated inability to pay, according to the order.

Lebel agreed to settle with the SEC without admitting guilt. He could not be reached for comment, and LPL declined to comment through a spokesman.

The FINRA BrokerCheck report for Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Lebel shows more than $100,000 in outstanding state and federal tax liens.

Lebel worked for LPL in Cambridge from 2008 to 2014, and then spent two months registered at Arthur W. Wood, a brokerage in Boston, between December 2014, and January 2015.

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