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Cetera Financial Representative Suspended for Outside Business Activities

John Oates Jr. of Yardley, Pennsylvania submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Department of Enforcement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly engaging in outside business activities without his firm’s approval. Mr. Oates first became associated with FINRA in 1997 as an Investment Company Products and Variable Contracts Representative. From 2004 through 2014, Mr. Oates was a General Securities Representative (GSR) for Cetera Financial Specialists LLC (Cetera Financial).

According to FINRA Rule 3270, all representatives must notify and obtain written approval to participate in outside business activities. FINRA found that between March 2011 and October 2011, while registered with Cetera Financial, Mr. Oates participated in the purchase of approximately $1.4 million in alternative investment products to two customers (one was a Cetera Financial client). FINRA alleged that Mr. Oates received approximately $69,000 in compensation for participation in the transaction. Mr. Oates did not obtain written approval from Cetera Financial to engage in this outside business and therefore violated FINRA Rules 3270 and 2010.

Without admitting or denying the FINRA findings, Mr. Oates agreed to the FINRA sanctions and was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for six months. In addition, Mr. Oates was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

Stockbrokers have been known to engage in many types of practices which violate industry and firm rules, practices, and procedures.  In order to protect customers from stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require broker-dealers such as Cetera Financial Specialists to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system.  The implementation of the rules require supervisors to monitor employees to ensure they comply with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, and the firm, such as Cetera Financial Specialists own policies and procedures.  If broker dealers and/or their supervisors do not establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to investors for damages which flow from the misconduct.  As a result, investors who have suffered losses because of their stockbroker’s unlawful or prohibited conduct can file a claim to recover damages against broker dealers like Cetera Financial Specialists, which should consistently oversee its employees in order to prevent stockbroker misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Cetera Financial Specialists investment account due to your stockbroker’s misconduct?  If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation.  Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against stockbrokers for unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentations, and/or other unauthorized and prohibited conduct.

The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed!  This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida.  For over 35 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities, and investment law issues.  The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally!  Please post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, send Mr. Pearce an email at pearce@rwpearce.com, and/or visit our website at www.secatty.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.