Carson Group CEO Ron Carson. Carson Group CEO Ron Carson.

A public arbitrator with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has withdrawn and expunged a customer complaint from Ron Carson’s record.

The customer claimed in 2004 that Carson, head of Carson Group, recommended mutual fund shares that were unsuitable and not properly diversified while he was with LPL Financial. The client was seeking $20,000 in damages.

The arbitrator stated in the Jan. 21 ruling that the client “understood that, by buying Class B mutual fund shares, she would incur a charge if the shares were sold during the period that the load charge was applicable. She elected to sell the shares during this period and was charged the applicable load.”

While the client’s attorney filed a complaint on her behalf, Carson’s attorney “responded with a letter that showed why there was no case,” the arbitrator said.

As a result, the complaint was withdrawn and expunged. The customer was not paid any money and there was no settlement, the order states.

However, a $500,000 dispute from 2018 against Carson is still pending, according to BrokerCheck.

Nearly a month before his registration with FINRA ended on Jan. 31, 2019, Carson Group was hit with an excessive fee arbitration claim.

A Dec. 24, 2018, pending dispute listed on BrokerCheck alleges that CWM LLC, Carson’s investment advisor, improperly notified a product sponsor that the client was no longer a client of CWM, which resulted in the client being charged the product sponsor’s standard fees, instead of the lower negotiated rate.

The BrokerCheck disclosure states that CWM had negotiated with certain product sponsors unaffiliated with CWM to charge lower fees to CWM clients.

As a result, the client claims that it was overcharged fees by the product sponsor and also alleges that CWM’s investment advisory fees were excessive. (FINRA does not state whether the client is an individual, group of investors or entity.)

The client is seeking $500,000 in damages.

“For clarification, Carson, in fact, negotiated on the client’s behalf to save the client millions — not cost the client, as stated in the dispute,” Carson said in a statement at the time.

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