FINRA Sanctions LPL Financial LLC $11.7 Million for Widespread Supervisory Failures

FINRA recently censured LPL Financial LLC and fined it $10 million for broad supervisory failures in a number of key areas, including the sales of non-traditional exchange-traded funds (ETFs), certain variable annuity contracts, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other complex products as well as its failure to monitor and report trades and deliver to customers more than 14 million trade confirmations.  In addition to the fine, FINRA ordered LPL Financial to pay approximately $1.7 million in restitution to certain customers who purchased non-traditional ETFs.

If you purchased non-traditional ETFs, variable annuities or REITs from a broker affiliated with LPL Financial please contact the investment fraud attorneys at West & West for a free initial consultation.

FINRA Bars Two Virginia FAs In Connection With Allegations Involving Converting Client Funds

Tammy Charlene Petersen formerly of Merrill Lynch and Kirsten Flynn Hawkins formerly of SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. both were barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity in connection with allegations involving the conversion of client funds.

Tammy Petersen, formerly with Merrill Lynch in Carrollton, Virginia, consented to the bar and to the entry of findings that she converted approximately $107,378 from customers for her own use and benefit without the customer’s knowledge or consent.  For more information click here to see her Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent.

Kirsten Hawkins, formerly with SunTrust in Staunton, Virginia, consented to the bar and to the entry of findings that she failed to provide FINRA with documents and information in connection with an investigation into allegations that she converted approximately $500,000 from a customer.  For more information click here to see her Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent.

If you believe you may have been a victim of either of these brokers or have had other issues with Merrill Lynch or SunTrust please contact an Investment Fraud Attorney at West & West for a free initial consultation.

FINRA Fines Oppenheimer $3.75M For Failure To Supervise

FINRA has ordered Oppenheimer & Co (now part of CIBC World Markets) to pay $3.75 million for failing to supervise, Mark Hotton, a broker who defrauded clients and the producers of a Broadway musical.  FINRA noted that Oppenheimer failed to investigate Mark Hotton before hiring him, and overlooked “red flags” after they hired him.  FINRA also says that while working at Oppenheimer, Hotton transferred $2.9 million out of client accounts and sent the money to entities he owned.

If you have been victimized by Mark Hotton or any other Oppenheimer brokers, please contact the Towson Investment Fraud Recovery Law Firm of West & West.

Mid-Atlantic Stockbrokers Barred Or Suspended By FINRA For Taking Advantage Of Elderly Clients

George Wayne Hoffman from Parkville, Maryland, a former registered representative with H. Beck, Inc., was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.  That sanction was based upon, among other findings, that Hoffman converted $17,000 from an elderly client for his own benefit and improperly accepted a $36,000 dollar personal loan from that same client, which he never repaid.  (FINRA Case #2012032922101)

Constance Marie Larsen of Centreville, Virginia, a former registered representative with Pruco Securities, LLC was suspended from association with any capacity for two years for, among other misdeeds, accepting a loan from an elderly client. (FINRA Case #2013038483201)

To see a summary of all Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions reported for January 2015, please click here.

If you believe that you may have been victimized by George Wayne Hoffman, Constance Marie Larsen, H. Beck, Inc. Pruco Securities, LLC or any other firms or brokers disciplined by FINRA as reported in January 2015, please contact the Maryland investment fraud recovery law firm of West & West, LLC.