Articles Posted in FINRA Disciplinary Actions

(FINRA Case #2016051493702)

Harold Lee Connell (CRD #1482623, Pinecrest, Florida) – An AWC (Accept, Waiver, and Consent) was issued in which Connell was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Connell consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5, and FINRA Rules 2010 and 2020 by participating in the sale of three unregistered Regulation D offerings through misrepresentations and omissions.

The findings stated that Connell and others at his member firm raised over $4.5 million from individual investors in connection with the sale of the three unregistered Regulation D offerings. The private placement memorandums (PPMs) for the three offerings provided that investors’ funds would be used to make investments in a variety of companies. However, the first offering was invested 85 percent in one penny stock company. The other two offerings were primarily undisclosed self-offerings.

(FINRA Case #2015046971701)

 Nas Adel Allan (CRD #4562149, Staten Island, New York) – An Offer of Settlement was issued in which Allan was fined $2,500, suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for one month and ordered to pay disgorgement of a portion of commissions received in the amount of $2,500, plus interest.

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Allan consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he recommended, over an approximate two month period, that elderly husband and wife customers engage in short-term trading of a single security that they had held for over 36 years, resulting in losses and capital gains tax liability for the customers and generating over $22,000 in commissions, markups and markdowns for Allan.

(FINRA Case #2016051931501)

Michael Terry Swingle (CRD #723350, Dunedin, Florida) – An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which Swingle was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for 18 months.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Swingle consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that as a result of deteriorating financial circumstances caused in part by gambling, he borrowed a total of $118,500 from five customers of his member firm, contrary to the firm’s policy.

(FINRA Case #2015046971701)

Gregory J. Anastos (CRD #5800831, Jersey City, New Jersey)  – An Offer of Settlement was issued in which Anastos was suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for four months. In light of Anastos’ financial status, no monetary sanction has been imposed.

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Anastos consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he recommended, over an approximate 13-month period, that elderly husband and wife customers engage in short-term trading of a single security, resulting in significant losses for them and generating over $78,158 in commissions, markups and markdowns for himself.

(FINRA Case #2016049239101)

Richard Charles Foster (CRD #4557045, Tulsa, Oklahoma) – An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which Foster was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member firm in all capacities for six months.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Foster consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he made an unsuitable recommendation that a customer liquidate an individual retirement account (IRA) and give Foster the proceeds to trade in an outside brokerage account utilizing a risky and costly options trading strategy.

(FINRA Case #2016050492101)

Walter Warren Parker (CRD #2131232, Wylie, Texas)  – An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which Parker was fined $7,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for one month.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Parker consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he made investment recommendations to a customer that were not suitable given her age, risk tolerance, financial experience and liquidity.

(FINRA Case #2017054146302)

Matthew Evan Eckstein (CRD #2997245, Syosset, New York) – Eckstein was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he sold over $1.3 million of “investments” that were neither described in any written materials nor memorialized in a note or other agreement.

The complaint alleges that these undocumented investments appear to have been part of a spurious investment scheme run by a close friend of Eckstein. Having done no due diligence on the issuer, Eckstein nevertheless recommended that at least four customers—including elderly, conservative investors—invest based on repayment terms, including maturity dates and interest payments, which he orally provided to them.

FINRA Case #2017053798602)

Craig Eugene Walker (CRD #5427440, Madison, Mississippi)  – An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which Walker was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Walker consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he submitted to an insurance company affiliated with his member firm an unauthorized application for a $150,000 fixed annuity, purportedly on behalf of an individual.

(FINRA Case #2016049628301)

Thomas Alan Meier (CRD #1146044, Miami, Florida) – An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which Meier was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Meier consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he effected approximately 1,290 unauthorized transactions, including both purchases and sales of equity securities, in eight accounts belonging to six customers.

(FINRA Case #2015046052701)

 Jodie Ann LaMarre (CRD #2127928, Sarasota, Florida)– An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which LaMarre was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for one year.

Without admitting or denying the findings, LaMarre consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that she recommended an unsuitable strategy involving the consolidation of all of an elderly customer’s assets in a single taxable account without regard to the fact that several of these assets were in tax-deferred accounts or investment vehicles.