The Investor’s Watchdog

The Investor's Watchdog

FINRA Imposes Sanctions against Washington Broker to Resolve Allegations of Participating in Private Securities Transactions without Firm Approval

Friday, November 22, 2019

On November 12, 2019, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Department of Enforcement approved a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) submitted by former registered representative Brian Lockett to resolve allegations of violating securities industry rules.

According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Lockett is currently associated with Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG) in Lynnwood, Washington. Prior to joining IFG in November 2013, he was associated with Commonwealth Financial Network in Waltham, Massachusetts (September 2002 to July 2003) and Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. (Geneos) in Lynnwood, Washington (February 2004 to November 2013). On July 28, 2016, Geneos filed a Form U5 Amendment reporting a verbal complaint and settlement with a firm customer who alleged that Lockett had recommended an “unapproved private investment in 2012.” Shortly thereafter, FINRA Department of Enforcement began investigating this allegation.

FINRA alleges in the AWC that in July 2012, Lockett participated in private securities transactions without providing prior written notice to Geneos, thus violating NASD Rule 3040(b) and FINRA Rule 2010. The AWC specifically states that a customer invested $50,000 in a private placement offering that Lockett introduced, summarizing why he liked the investment, meeting with the customer to complete paperwork for this investment, and ultimately submitting the paperwork. Though Lockett did not received compensation for this transaction, he still failed to provide written notice of the transaction to the firm. Then, in March 2013, Lockett allegedly attempted to conceal his role in the transaction by requesting that the customer use Lockett’s personal email address when communicating about the transaction.

By signing the AWC, Lockett consented to the imposition of a $5,000 fine and a 45-day suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity. Lockett has nine customer disputes reported on his FINRA BrokerCheck report. Many disputes allege the sale of unapproved and unsuitable investments in oil and gas industry and penny stock and all were settled by the firm.

Many times, brokerage firms can be held liable if they failed to supervise a broker who committed misconduct while registered at their firm. If you lost money due to broker misconduct, you may be able to recover from your broker or the brokerage firm where he or she was registered. Call us (1-877-410-8172) for a free, no obligation consultation. Since 1998, we have been fighting for victims of broker misconduct and investment fraud.

 

Author: Jason T. Albin

Jason Albin is an Attorney and Partner at ChapmanAlbin, the investor rights law firm. He has represented hundreds of investors who have lost money due to broker misconduct, unsuitable investment advice and fraud.​ Jason also represents individuals in “whistleblower” suits filed against unscrupulous companies that try to defraud the US federal and state governments.

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