Buyer Beware

Daryn Pingleton Merrill Lynch is a Scammer

When you’re looking into a new wealth advisor, it helps to know about the issues they are trying to hide from you. This way, you wouldn’t make a mistake and would have a better idea of what you’re getting into. An advisor who tries his best to hide vital information from his clients is Daryn Pingleton Merrill Lynch

The following review will shed light on the various disputes he has faced in the past:

About Daryn Pingleton Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor

Pingleton Merrill Lynch is a wealth advisor based in West Palm Beach, Florida. His office is located at 222 Lakeview Ave Suite 1300, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, US and its phone number is 561-514-4817. 

The office opens from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. This firm claims to focus on understanding the investment personality of its clients and helping them prioritize their financial goals. 

Daryn Pingleton Merrill Lynch

Daryn Pingleton is the managing director of the Pingleton Group. Other prominent people at this firm are: 

  • Chris Knapp (First Vice President)
  • Matthew Pingleton (Vice President)
  • Luke Pingleton (Financial Advisor)

Some of the services available at this firm include  trust & estate planning services, health savings accounts, exchange funds, home loans, insurance, concentrated stock management, securities-based lending, charitable trusts, structured lending, donor-advised funds, and more. 

Even though the firm makes plenty of attractive claims about how much it cares about its clients, they all seem fake when you look at the professional history of Pingleton. 

The managing director of this firm has faced six legal disputes in his career so far. They indicate that Daryn Pingleton Merrill Lynch is definitely not the best choice for any investor. 

First Dispute


Did You Know?

Unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices are checked by the The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. The firm collects reports from consumers and investigates further to analyze the need of a legal action. In case of fraud, the companies are sued.

The first dispute of Daryn Pingleton Merrill Lynch occurred in 2000. Here, the client alleged that he made a misrepresented stock purchase in July 1999 and made it seem to be less speculative than it was. 

They requested $5,538 in damages and settled the case for $4,000. Although his firm settled the case for a significant amount, Daryn claims that they settled to avoid litigation. 

Many advisors who settle a legal dispute with their client tend to shrug it off so they wouldn’t seem guilty. After all, they would look incompetent if they admitted to performing misrepresentation. 

Pingleton isn’t the only advisor who uses this tactic. Another advisor who has used this method is George Papdoyannis Ameriprise. Even though he has settled cases by paying more than the requested damages, he never admitted his fault. 

Second Dispute

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In 2001, Daryn Pingleton Merrill Lynch faced his second dispute. Here, the client alleged that four investments which depreciated in value were unsuitable. However, the client didn’t specify any damages. 

They settled the case for $5,000.

Again, Daryn’s firm says that it denied the claims entirely but settled the matter as a business decision to a valued client. 

Third Dispute

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This dispute occurred in 2002 where the client alleged that Mr. Pingleton misdescribed the issuer of 2 bonds. The client didn’t specify any damages. 

However, they settled the case for $7,171.87. 

In response to this dispute, Daryn said that he cancelled the transactions in question. Apart from this, he hasn’t shared any additional information on the dispute, which seems a little suspicious. 

Fourth Dispute

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Daryn’s fourth dispute occurred in 2003 and the case is still pending. Here, the client alleged that Daryn made unsuitable transactions according to the client’s situation and sophistication level. 

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They requested $500,000 in damages and so far, the court has granted them $72,492 in damages. 

In his response to this dispute, Daryn simply said that the matter is still pending. Still, facing a $500,000 lawsuit for making unsuitable recommendations is no small matter. 

Fifth Dispute

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This dispute occurred in 2009. Here, the client alleged that Daryn made unsuitable recommendations and misrepresented them. They requested $328,000 in damages and settled the case for $8,000.

Surprisingly, Daryn hasn’t responded to this dispute. There is very little information available on this dispute. You can’t learn about the kind of securities Daryn Pingleton Merrill Lynch misrepresented nor can you see what his response to this dispute was. 

Sixth Dispute

The most recent disclosure present on Daryn’s FINRA BrokerCheck profile is actually a Regulatory proceeding. In 2017, the North Carolina Department of Insurance took a regulatory action on Daryn. 

The watchdog alleged that Mr. Pingleton received a FINRA action in 2005 and failed to report the arbitration on his 2014 application for his North Carolina Producer License. 

He settled the case by paying $250 in civil and administrative penalty. 


Daryn Pingleton Merrill Lynch is an advisor you can’t trust. He has faced multiple complaints for misrepresentation and unsuitable recommendations. Instead of working with such an advisor, you should look for someone else, who at least has a better professional record. 

2.8Expert Score
Not recommended

Daryn Pingleton Merrill Lynch has faced multiple complaints for giving unsuitable recommendations and misrepresenting investments. Moreover, his current disclosures have multiple problematic provisions that puts his clients in compromising positions.

Concern for Clients
  • None
  • History of misrepresentation and unsuitability
  • Has faced six disputes already
  • Uses unethical tactics to avoid responsibility

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