LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent-contractor broker/dealer, is once again in the news over technology mistakes that could put private client information at risk. The story was first reported April 6 by Investment News.
According to the article, an “unencrypted portable hard drive” was stolen from an LPL representative sometime in late February. The representative, Christian D’Urso, was based in Beaverton, Oregon. It’s unclear exactly how many LPL clients could be affected by the theft.
This isn’t LPL’s first run-in with potential breach of customer information. In 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a cease and desist order against LPL for its failure to implement adequate controls to protect access to customer accounts.
According to the SEC, between mid-July 2007 and February 2008, LPL was subject to hacking incidents in which customer accounts were accessed and the perpetrator placed or attempted to place 209 unauthorized trades in 68 accounts for more than $700,000. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s charges, LPL paid a fine of $275,000 to settle the matter.
LPL Financial has 12,000 representatives and advisers.