Samuel Lek, former Chief Executive Officer of Lek Securities Corporation (Lek Securities) (CRD #1642936)– An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which Lek was permanently barred from the securities industry in all capacities. Lek was fined $900,000 for violating FINRA and Exchange supervisory rules, specifically Rule 15c3-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Market Access Rule), among other infringements. Action was taken by FINRA, the NASDAQ Stock Market, the New York Stock Exchange, Cboe Global Markets, and certain of their various affiliated Exchanges. The fine was shared proportionally between FINRA and the exchanges.
Lek Securities was providing market access to foreign traders for several years while they would perform manipulating trading on US exchanges including activities such as spoofing, layer, and cross-product manipulation. Samuel Lek himself allegedly assisted with these tradings through a sub-accounting held and Lek Securities.
Even when FINRA, the Exchanges and the SEC began investigations into certain suspicious activity, Samuel Lek continued with these manipulative trading practices. Lek may have even provided office space, trading software, computer servers, and other services to the customer traders of this sub-account.
Lek’s primary violation was disregarding the Market Access Rule – “ which requires broker-dealers that provide their customers access to an exchange or alternative trading system to reasonably control the financial and regulatory risks of providing such access” (FINRA February 2020 Press Release).
Lek Securities did not admit or deny these claims. They consented to the restricted foreign intra-day trading restrictions, an independent monitor, and undertakings imposed by the investigation, in addition to the $900,000 fine.
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