Adviser's serial firings show 'big problem' at brokerages

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A Pennsylvania financial adviser who was fired from five companies for misconduct is now facing federal fraud charges.

Anthony Diaz earned millions of dollars by pushing risky "alternative investments." Prosecutors say he falsified his clients' net worth, income and risk tolerance to make it appear they qualified for the investments.

His case illustrates what can go wrong when investment firms hire problem brokers.

An academic study from March found that 15 to 20 percent of the brokers at some of the largest financial services firms in the country have disciplinary records. And nearly half of financial advisers fired for misconduct find a new job in the industry within a year.

New federal regulations would force brokers to put their clients' financial interest ahead of their own.

Diaz has pleaded not guilty.