Maryland Registered Representative, Roger Owens, Consents to FINRA Sanctions for Soliciting Woodbridge Group of Companies Promissory Notes without Firm ApprovalMonday, August 26, 2019
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Department of Enforcement recently approved a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) against Roger Owens, a former registered representative associated with Cetera Advisors LLC (Cetera) in Elkton, Maryland.
According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Owens was associated with Cetera from July 2007 to April 2019 when he was discharged after allegedly participating in unapproved private securities transactions. Shortly after the firm filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration, FINRA Department of Enforcement began investigating these allegations.
FINRA alleges in the AWC that Owens solicited investors to purchase promissory notes relating to the Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC, a purported real-estate investment fund that, upon going bankrupt, caused investors to lose millions of dollars. Owens sold $1.17 million in these promissory notes to 14 investors, four of whom were Cetera customers, and in which he received nearly $60,000 in commissions. Owens also invested $75,000 in Woodbridge notes himself. FINRA asserts that Owens did not seek or receive approval for to sell these notes and falsely attested in his 2016, 2017 and 2018 compliance questionnaires that he had not engaged in any private securities transactions.
Based on the foregoing, Owens violated FINRA Rules 3280 and 2010. Without admitting or denying the allegations made against him, Owens consented to a $10,000 fine, 12-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm and disgorgement of commissions, totaling $59,471, received through the solicitation of Woodbridge promissory notes.
If a broker was not properly supervised while registered at a brokerage firm, the firm can be held liable for the broker’s misconduct. Did you invest with Roger Owens and suspect wrongdoing? You may be able to recover from him or Cetera Advisors LLC, his last associated brokerage firm. Since 1998, we have been representing victims of investment fraud and broker misconduct. Call us at 1-877-410-8172 today for a free, no obligation consultation.