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.