BancWest Broker Barred by FINRA for Unapproved REIT Transactions

John Hudnall, a former broker with BancWest Investment Services, Inc. (BancWest), submitted an Offer of Settlement to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was barred from the securities industry amid findings that he recommended and sold a REIT investment to an 80 year old customer, which he split into two transactions in order to circumvent his firm’s supervisory review. FINRA found that John Stuart Hudnall, of Pacifica, California, sold a $400,000 Wells Core Office Income REIT investment to an 80 year old customer.  He then split it into two transactions, one of 40,000 and the other of $360,000, to avoid supervisory review of such a large transaction.  Mr. Hudnall only submitted the $40,000 portion to his firm, and submitted the $360,000 portion directly to the REIT sponsor.  Mr. Hudnall allegedly received a gross commission of $25,200 in connection with the $360,000 part of the REIT investment.

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