The following disciplinary actions were taken against both firms and individuals due to violations of FINRA rules, federal securities laws and MSRB rules:

Firm Fined

Midtown Partners & Co., LLC

The Firm was fined $50,000 for failing to enforce the policies and procedures outlined in its WSPs related to the trading of securities on the Restricted List and Watch List. The CEO was found to have sold 20,000 shares of a security while on the Watch List and sold 10,000 shares of the same security while on the Restricted List. Although the CEO did not have MNPI at the time of both sales, the Firm was found to have failed to assign a supervisor to monitor the CEO’s activities and review the CEO’s trading. If there had been a supervisor monitoring the CEO’s trading activity, the prohibited trading would have been identified. (FINRA Case #2016051196101)

FIS Brokerage & Securities LLC

The Firm was fined $25,000 for submitting inaccurate and incomplete ROEs to OATS. It was found that the Firm used a third-party vendor’s platform for OATS reporting and subsequent updates to the platform caused errors in reporting. Errors that were made due to platform updates were later remedied. (FINRA Case #2017053084901)

Individuals Barred

Michael Anthony Bastardi

Bastardi was barred from association with any FINRA member for failing to provide documents related to the U5 filing made by his former member Firm. On the submitted U5, Bastardi was alleged to have been the subject of a customer complaint which stated that he had taken part in unsuitable margin trading, unauthorized trading and fraud and forgery. Damages totaled approximately $25,000. (FINRA Case #2018059770401)

Dean Harrison Grant

Grant was barred from association with any FINRA member for failing to provide documents related to allegations made against him. Allegations included converting funds from customers, forging documents and failing to disclose liens on his U4. (FINRA Case #2019061567201)

Individuals Suspended

Stuart Jeffries Henley

Henley was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member for 30 days for exercising discretion in an elderly customer’s account without receiving written discretionary approval from the member Firm. It was found that Henley was given implied permission to exercise discretion, but not written discretion. Henley was also found to have completed the Annual Compliance questionnaire inaccurately by stating he had not exercised discretion in customer accounts, when in fact he had exercised discretion. (FINRA Case #2018057441201)

Curtis Roy Ile

Ile was suspended from association with any FINRA member for six months for marking transactions unsolicited when they were actually solicited. This caused the Firm to maintain inaccurate books and records. It was also found that Ile made unsuitable recommendations in the form of OTC equity securities. Ile also exercised discretion in customer accounts without receiving prior written approval from his member Firm and the customer. (FINRA Case #2017054678101)

Click here to read the Disciplinary Brief in its entirety.

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

Key Topics: Broker Dealer Compliance, Investment Banking Compliance, Broker Dealer Compliance Requirements, FINRA Compliance Training, FINRA Disciplinary Actions, FINRA U4, FINRA U5, Broker Dealer Continuing Education