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Kevin Edward Looser of Delphos, Ohio submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly participating in private securities transactions in violation of NASD Rule 3040 and FINRA Rule 2010.

In September 2005, Kevin Looser joined Sigma Financial Corporation (Sigma) as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, from September 2011 through July 2014, Looser allegedly participated in fourteen private securities transactions without providing prior written notice to his firm. The FINRA findings stated that Mr. Looser disclosed to his firm that he was a co-owner of a company that developed video platforms to connect on-call interpreters with deaf or limited language individuals and the firm approved. But FINRA alleged Mr. Looser also raised $430,000 for the company from thirteen firm investors and one non-firm investor. FINRA stated that he discussed agreements and received checks from two of the investors which he gave to the co-owner that were not disclosed to his firm. Continue Reading

Christopher Todd Wendel submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which he was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly providing false declaration, a false on-the-record testimony, and engaging in private securities transactions all in violation of FINRA Rules 3280, 2010 and 8210.

From September 2014 to September 2017, Christopher Wendel was employed by SA Stone Wealth Management (SA Stone) as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, between April and August of 2017, Wendel was accused of engaging in private securities transactions without providing notice or receiving approval from his member firm. FINRA stated that Wendel solicited four investors to purchase promissory notes in a purported real estate investment fund totaling $343,500 while he received over $10,000 in commissions. The findings also stated that FINRA requested information regarding the transactions, and Wendel provided a signed declaration falsely stating that his participation in these sales occurred after his association with the firm ceased. Continue Reading

Terry Lee McCoy of New Port Richey, Florida submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which he was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly failing to supervise his firms’ representatives in violation of NASD Rule 3010, MSRB Rule G-27, and FINRA Rule 2010.

In March 1999, Terry McCoy joined Morgan Stanley as a General Securities Principal and Municipal Securities Principal. According to FINRA, during the period from September 2011 through July 2012, McCoy was branch manager of Morgan Stanley’s Palm Harbor, Florida branch and was responsible for supervising the business and activities of all employees. FINRA stated that while under McCoy’s supervision, two of the firm’s registered representatives engaged in excessive and unsuitable trading and used discretion in 6 accounts of a 79-year-old customer with severe physical disabilities without his authorization. Due to the excessive trading, the account generated commissions of over $9 million.  FINRA also stated that McCoy failed to follow up on multiple red flags and failed to detect discretion in the accounts, despite his routine meetings with the customer. Continue Reading

Bradley Everett Gardner of Fort Bragg, California submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly converting customer funds in violation of FINRA Rules 2150(a) and 2010.

In February 2012, Bradley Garner joined LPL Financial LLC as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, in a Form U5, the firm reported Mr. Gardner’s voluntary resignation following allegations that he accepted a client check made payable to himself. The findings stated that Mr. Garner allegedly told his customer she could pre-pay her fees at a discounted rate if she wrote a check payable to him in the amount of $7,400. FINRA also stated that when the customer accepted, he took the check and deposited it into his personal bank account for his own use. When the firm discovered what had happened, Mr. Garner reimbursed the customer the $7,400 and was then terminated. Continue Reading

Franklin Ihendu Ogele of Hillside, New Jersey submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which Ogele was fined and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly failing to supervise in violation of NASD Rule 3010 and FINRA Rules 3110 and 2010.

In May 2004, Ogele joined BlackBook Capital, LLC. During the relevant period, he was registered as BlackBook’s Chief Executive officer and Chief Compliance Officer. The findings stated that Ogele was responsible for supervising a representative who was the top-producing broker in the firm’s branch. According to FINRA, Ogele failed to supervise the trading activities of the representative and instead permitted him to self-supervise his own activities. FINRA stated that the representative’s trading in the customer’s account incurred significant losses and a cost-to-equity ratio and turnover rate that should have resulted in an investigation by Ogele. Continue Reading

On July 30 Robert Russel Tweed of Glendale, California appealed an Office of Hearing Officers (OHO) decision to the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) in which he was fined $50,000 and barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for allegedly in violating FINRA Rule 2010 and Sections 17(a)(2) and (3) of the securities act of 1933. The sanctions are not in effect, pending review of the OHO decision by the NAC. Continue Reading

Robert Rushby Humberston of Longmeadow, Massachusetts submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for a period of three months.

In September 2014, Robert Humberston joined Ameriprise Financial Services as a General Securities Representative. FINRA stated that from September 2016 through January 2018, Humberston violated FINRA Rule 2010 in which he failed to comply with his firms’ policies and procedures requiring him to disclose that one of his customers had designated him as a beneficiary of her estate. According to FINRA, when Humberston found out that the elderly customer had died and left him 10 percent of her estate, he failed to notify his firm or seek revocation of the bequest. FINRA also stated that Humberston notified his firm after receiving the funds totaling $96,662, but only after he deposited them directly in his personal bank account. Humberston allegedly declined to return the funds and instead resigned. Continue Reading

Kenny Danny Mezher a former registered stockbroker with Growth Capital Services, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for a period of two months for allegedly participating in private transactions.

On April 22, 2016, Kenny Mezher joined Growth Capital Services (GCS) as a General Securities Representative. He remained associated with the Firm until his termination on April 11, 2017. According to FINRA, between January 2017 and March 2017, Mezher participated in four private securities transactions in violation of FINRA Rules 3280 and 2010. The findings stated that while with GCS, he was also employed by a now-defunct hedge fund called Crescent Ridge Capital Partners. Mezher allegedly sold four limited partnership interest totaling $179,500 to five investors of whom were his family and friends without providing notice or approval from his firm. Continue Reading

Cheryl A. George of East Aurora, New York submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which George was fined $5,000 and suspended for allegedly participating in unauthorized transactions.

In June 2009, George joined RBC Capital Markets LLC as an Investment Company Products Variable Contracts Representative and a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, RBC suspended George for ten business days for failing to observe firm policies and procedures regarding the authentication of a wire transfer request. The findings stated that an email was sent to George requesting a $33,000 transfer to a third-party company, which was not from the customer but rather an imposter. FINRA found that George only never received verbal authorization from the customer to sell securities in the account totaling $42,980. FINRA further stated that Ms. George falsely attested that she did receive verbal authorization and mismarked the order tickets as unsolicited. Continue Reading

On July 19, 2018 a judgment issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit became final in which Wedbush Securities Inc. was fined $300,000 and Edward William Wedbush was fined $50,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any principal capacity for 31 days.

Edward Wedbush founded his firm in 1955 and served as a general partner when it was a partnership and became president of the Firm when it was incorporated. He also became Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) and the Business Conduct Manager (BCM) in August 2006. Wedbush was responsible for the firm’s compliance system and all regulatory filings. According to FINRA, from January 2005 to July 2010, the firm committed 158 violations of the rules and by-laws of the National Association of Securities Dealers Inc. (NASD), the New York Stock Exchange Inc. (NYSE) and FINRA. The findings stated that the firm reported 129 events late (RE-3, U4 and U5), 18 events inaccurate, and failed to file 11 forms (RE-3, U4 and U5). The Firm and Mr. Wedbush allegedly failed to reasonably supervise regulatory reportings, failed to implement the firm’s supervisory system, failed to detect and prevent violations and failed to implement corrective measures to address the regulatory reporting failures. Continue Reading