Finra Suspends Ex-Ameriprise Broker for Restricted List Sales

October 8, 2019

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined and suspended a veteran broker in Atlanta for recommending “prohibited securities” and mislabeling trades in order to evade firm restrictions, according to an acceptance, waiver and consent letter finalized on Monday.

William George Davis accepted a 15-day suspension and $5,000 fine for selling “prohibited” securities in May and June 2018 to seven customers. The firm had restricted the securities to unsolicited orders, but Davis allegedly marked the eight trades as unsolicited to circumvent controls in the firm’s order system.

The settlement did not identify the securities, but Davis’ BrokerCheck report identifies the products as options.

Finra accused Davis of violating its wide-ranging Rule 2010 requiring registered brokers to act with “high standards of commercial honor,” and also causing Ameriprise to be in violation of its Rule 4511 requiring member firms to preserve accurate books and records, according to the consent letter.

Davis, who agreed to the penalty without admitting or denying the allegations, could not be reached for comment. He worked at Ameriprise’s employee channel for two years prior to his July 2018 dismissal.

He began his career at Kidder, Peabody & Co. in 1975, and also worked at Drexel Burnham Lambert and, for 28 years, at UBS Financial Services, according to BrokerCheck.

“This is a highly regulated industry, and when a registered person mismarks a ticket and does it intentionally, it’s a big deal,” said Debra Jenks, a West Palm Beach, Florida-based securities lawyer, noting it jeopardizes a firm’s compliance with books-and-records rules. “At 43 years of industry experience, he should have known better.”

Davis has not re-registered as a broker or investment adviser, according to BrokerCheck.

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