Firms Fined

Ascensus Financial Services, LLC.

The Firm was fined $35,000 for failing to meet net capital requirements by not including the complete value of 12b-1 fees that the Firm collected which, as a result, understated the Firm’s non-allowable assets. Understating the value of the fees created a net capital deficiency of between $1.1 million and $2.5 million dollars and also lead the Firm to maintain an inaccurate general ledger and inaccurate FOCUS Reports. FINRA Case #2017052209901

Investment Placement Group

The Firm was fined $10,000 for making payments in the amount of $3.85 million to unregistered entities when the commissions should have been paid directly to the registered representatives. Each representative was a co-owner of the entity that the Firm made the payments of commissions to. FINRA Case #2013039590801

LPL Financial, LLC

The Firm was fined $2.75 million for failing to abide by proper complaint reporting guidelines and AML program and procedures. Over the course of three years, LPL failed to report dozens of reportable customer complaints on representatives U4s and U5s. The Firm failed to file complaints when a customer did not expressly ask for compensation, even though the customer was clearly requesting compensation in cases where there was a $5,000 or greater loss. It was also found that the Firm failed to investigate attempts to gain authorized access to electronic systems that would have resulted in the filing of over 400 SARs. FINRA Case # 2016050751901

Individuals Barred

Chris Raymond Kubiak

Kubiak was barred from association with all FINRA members for converting customer funds. Mr. Kubiak was found to have taken $270,000 from four customers, including three seniors, promising to invest on their behalf, but instead deposited the funds into his own personal account. FINRA Case #2018059861801

Atiq Urrehman Khan

It was found that Khan failed to respond in a timely manner to FINRA’s requested on-the-record testimony. Mr. Khan did not disclose solicitation of general securities and wrongly named himself as a customer’s beneficiary. Khan failed to provide any documents that were requested by FINRA. FINRA Case #2016052504602

Individuals Suspended

John-Aaron Lenhert

Lenhert was suspended for five months and was fined $7,500 for borrowing customer funds. It was found that Mr. Lenhert borrowed $44,700 from the Firm’s customers without providing prior notice or receiving written approval from his member Firm. Lenhert was also found to have made misrepresentations about the loans on annual compliance questionnaires and throughout the investigation conducted by the Firm. FINRA Case #2017053139401

James Edward Barnes

Barnes was fined $5,000 and suspended for one month for soliciting sales of variable annuities when he was not registered with his member Firm. Another registered representative with the member Firm signed his name on the variable annuity application and shared the commissions with Barnes. The registered representative received commissions totaling $13,760 while Barnes received commissions totaling $5,504. FINRA Case #2018057055301

These cases along with others can be accessed by clicking this link.

Please contact an ARG Analyst with any questions regarding the matters discussed.