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She reapplied for her jobs (and a couple others where the regulator had openings) 574 times, sent the object of her affection LinkedIn requests, love letters, coffee mugs, and golf balls, and sent the object of her scorn a bunch of menacing messages about looking both ways before crossing, as well as unsolicited gay and straight porno mags. Read more »
A while back Oppenheimer & Co. let some people trade illegally in some penny stocks and today they got in mild trouble for it, settling with FINRA over charges of selling unregistered securities, inadequate supervision, and inadequate anti-money-laundering compliance programs. Oppenheimer agreed to pay a $1.4mm fine and hire a bunch of stop-doing-that consultants to tell them to stop doing that.
The FINRA complaint is mildly amusing; its list of “red flags indicating that there may have been sales of unregistered securities1 that should have prompted further inquiry” includes “the customer had walked into a branch office with share certificates of thinly-traded securities for deposit.” Not in 1920, I mean, in 2008: a customer “carried into the Newport Beach office and delivered into his new account share certificates for 255,000,000 and 500,000,000 shares of NBVG.” I just love that image for its old-fashioned solidity; I’ve entrusted my entire life savings to some bits floating around the internet but this guy was hauling around paper stock certificates. Worth, apparently, hundreds of millions of pennies!2 Read more »
Securities firms that sell bonds to customers from their own account (and buy bonds from customers from their own account) make money by charging a markup (markdown) on the price that they paid (got) for the bonds on the other side. You buy at 100, sell at 101, you make a point, etc. The metaphysics of when that markup/markdown veers into fraud are deep and wonderful. You’re not, for instance, required to disclose your markup to your customers, but if they ask and you tell them, it’s probably best if you don’t lie about it, and if you are going to lie about it, it’s best if you don’t invent whole imaginary dramas about how hard you fought to get this bond.
Similarly you’re not supposed to charge “excessive markups” but who’s to say what’s excessive? Here is FINRA’s policy on the matter, which can be summed up as:
- determining whether or not a markup is excessive is a complex question to which “No definitive answer can be given” and in answering which one should holistically take into account a variety of factors including but certainly not limited to market availability, transaction size, your reasonable expenses, disclosures to the customer, and so forth; but
- probably 5%.
FINRA Director Definitely Cheated Old Ladies Out Of BINGO Money, Possibly Also Referred To Them As “Old Bags”By Bess Levin
We don’t know if the “old bag” part is true– though it does seem like something someone guilty of “charitable bingo fraud” would say, does it not?– but what we do know is that the reason he got caught years and years later, and ultimately lost his job– was out of one broker’s THIRST FOR REVENGE. Read more »