(FINRA Case #2016050259001)

Cetera Advisors LLC (CRD #10299, Denver, Colorado) – An AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) was issued in which the firm was censured and required to provide a remediation plan to FINRA to remediate eligible customers who qualified for, but did not receive, an applicable mutual fund sales-charge waiver.

As part of this settlement, the firm agreed to pay restitution to eligible customers, which is estimated to total $628,040 (the amount eligible customers were overcharged, inclusive of interest).

(FINRA Case #2013039456301)

Jeffrey Paul Davis (CRD #2501354, Bristol, Connecticut) submitted an AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) in which he was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for one month. Without admitting or denying the findings, Davis consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he recommended and effected unsuitable transactions totaling $566,000 in customer accounts by over-concentrating their assets in illiquid non traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

The findings stated that these excessive concentrations in illiquid investments were unsuitable in light of the customers’ financial situations, risk tolerances and investment objectives.

(FINRA Case #2013035865303)

Spencer Edwards, Inc. (CRD #22067, Centennial, Colorado) was fined a total of $707,000 and suspended with respect to accepting for deposit or liquidating previously deposited certificated securities until such time as an independent consultant (not unacceptable to FINRA) determines that the firm has adopted and implemented supervisory procedures adequate to reasonably ensure that it is not participating in unregistered offerings of securities.

The sanctions were based on findings that the firm facilitated unregistered and nonexempt customer sales of billions of shares of securities. The findings stated that the firm liquidated approximately 4 billion shares of penny stocks in customer accounts at the firm that were not registered with the SEC, nor were the transactions exempt from registration.  The shares sold for the firm’s customers yielded total sales proceeds of approximately $2 million and generated over $107,000 in commissions.

(FINRA Case #2016051146801)

Adriane L. Cagle (CRD #6236929, Fayetteville, Georgia) submitted an AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) in which she was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for two months. Without admitting or denying the findings, Cagle consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that she altered several documents that had already been signed by customers and signed as a witness to customer signatures on certain documents without having actually witnessed the customers sign them.

The findings stated that approximately two years after receiving a written disciplinary letter from her member firm for altering certain documents after they had already been signed by a customer, Cagle engaged in similar practices in an effort to avoid inconvenience.

(FINRA Case #2015044123501)

Scott Allen Sibley (CRD #1523981, Fort Lauderdale, Florida) submitted an AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Sibley consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he effected about 900 securities purchases and sales in a customer’s two accounts without the customer’s authorization, knowledge or consent.

The findings stated that of the 900 securities purchases and sales, 139 were equity options where Sibley sold uncovered put option contracts or closed put option contracts for the customer. In addition to effecting purchases and sales without written authorization, Sibley caused the customer to carry a margin debit balance without the customer’s authorization, knowledge or consent. The customer never authorized Sibley to purchase securities in his account that would result in a debit balance.

(FINRA Case #2012034037602)

FSC Securities Corporation (CRD #7461, Atlanta, Georgia) submitted an AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) in which the firm was censured and fined $200,000. Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed to establish, maintain, and enforce a supervisory system that was reasonably designed to review and monitor third-party check requests from customer accounts.

The findings stated that a registered representative associated with the firm sold memberships in an investment fund created by a former firm representative. Without the firm’s knowledge or approval, the representative sold memberships in the fund, which was not an approved product for sale, and the firm did not therefore supervise the representative’s sales. In connection with the representative’s sale of the fund memberships, the representative submitted to the firm Letters of Authorization (LOA) signed by each of the 15 firm customers, which authorized in aggregate approximately $1.6 million to be transferred from their firm brokerage accounts to a bank account the fund controlled.

(FINRA Case #2016051002701)

Angelina Ozlem Todurge (CRD #4678713, West Palm Beach, Florida) submitted an AWC (Accept, Waiver & Consent) in which she was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Todurge consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she failed to provide FINRA with documents and information concerning allegations that she converted $13,000 for her personal use.

Todurge was discharged from J.P. Morgan Chase Bank in September 2016 after allegations she failed to report the receipt of funds from a third party bank which were errantly wired to a registered representative’s Chase Bank account and then used the funds for personal use.  She had worked for J.P. Morgan Securities LLC in Palm Beach Florida since December 2014.

(FINRA Case #2012033767402)

Enrique Mercado Jr. (CRD #2242873, Miami, Florida) submitted an Offer of Settlement in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $15,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for 12 months.

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Mercado consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he submitted a false and backdated FINRA Rule 3130 certification to FINRA in response to a FINRA Rule 8210 request.

(FINRA Case #2016050259801)

Legend Equities Corporation (CRD #30999, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) submitted an AWC (Accept Waiver & Consent) in which the firm was censured and required to provide FINRA with a plan to remediate eligible customers who qualified for, but did not receive, the applicable mutual fund sales-charge waiver.

As part of this settlement, the firm agrees to pay restitution to eligible customers, which is estimated to total $2,300,188 (the amount eligible customers were overcharged, inclusive of interest). The firm will also ensure that retirement and charitable waivers are appropriately applied to all future transactions.

The suspension is in effect from March 20, 2017, through May 19, 2017. (FINRA Case #2015044792802)

Diego Jimenez (CRD #4557717, Arlington, Texas) submitted an AWC(Accept, Waiver & Consent) in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for two months. Without admitting or denying the findings, Jimenez consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he engaged in securities activities without being registered with FINRA.

The findings stated that Jimenez voluntarily terminated his registration with a member firm but remained associated with the firm and participated in various securities activities that supported his father’s securities business at the firm. As part of this work, while he was not registered, Jimenez solicited prospective mutual fund customers, made mutual fund presentations, discussed mutual fund investments with prospective customers, and recommended the purchase of mutual funds resulting in total sales of more than $800,000 in 35 mutual fund accounts. Jimenez also assisted customers with the completion of documents necessary to purchase mutual funds and entered customer and trade information electronically into the firm’s computer system. These activities required registration.