Enforcement Actions
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
CASES OF NOTE
2011
NOTE: Stipulations of Fact and Consent to Penalty (SFC); Offers of Settlement (OS); and Letters of Acceptance Waiver, and Consent (AWC) are entered into by Respondents without admitting or denying the allegations, but consent is given to the described sanctions & to the entry of findings. Additionally, for AWCs, if FINRA has reason to believe a violation has occurred and the member or associated person does not dispute the violation, FINRA may prepare and request that the member or associated person execute a letter accepting a finding of violation, consenting to the imposition of sanctions, and agreeing to waive such member's or associated person's right to a hearing before a hearing panel, and any right of appeal to the National Adjudicatory Council, the SEC, and the courts, or to otherwise challenge the validity of the letter, if the letter is accepted. The letter shall describe the act or practice engaged in or omitted, the rule, regulation, or statutory provision violated, and the sanction or sanctions to be imposed.
September 2011
Charles Caputo Jr.
OS/2009016885101/September 2011

Caputo provided falsified account statements to a customer for a personal and a corporate account the customer held at Caputoís member firm, with the intent of leading the customer to believe the all-but-worthless accounts held securities valued as high as $600,000; both accounts had incurred substantial losses. 

The accounts were held at Caputoís firm, the customer received account statements through the firmís clearing firms; however, the customer also received fabricated account statements Caputo provided him. The typical one-page fabricated account statement listed the account name and number, the statement period, a false market value, a false cash balance and a false option value. These fake statements were transmitted by facsimile from Caputoís home-office fax number. The false statements the customer received from Caputo reported that the personal account was valued at $292,020.53 and that the corporate account was valued at $325,446.36; in reality the personal account was valued at less than $70 and the corporate account had been closed.

Apparently relying on the values shown on the false statements, the customer contacted Caputo and requested that he wire $120,000 from the corporate account; Caputo advised the customer that there was no money in either account.

Caputo failed to appear and testify in a FINRA on-the-record interview.

Charles Caputo Jr. : Barred
Tags:  False Statements     |    In: Cases of Note : FINRA
Bill Singer's Comment
A truly scary case.  Just shows how easy it easy to defraud the public -- about all that you need is a home fax machine.
May 2011
Douglas Daniel Ivan (Principal)
AWC/2010022805201/May 2011

Ivan executed an agreement purportedly on the firmís behalf, in which a non-customer corporation agreed to pay the firm a $35,000 refundable deposit in exchange for the firm agreeing to act as an exclusive placement agent to assist the corporation in arranging for $8 million dollars in debt financing. Subject to the agreement, Ivan instructed the corporation to wire the $35,000 deposit to a personal brokerage account he controlled at another FINRA member firm. Instead of using the funds as he represented to the corporation and in accordance with the terms of the signed agreement, Ivan diverted the corporationís funds by wiring $25,000 of the deposit to another business entity that was supposedly going to assist the corporation with arranging the financing and used the remaining $10,000 for his personal benefit. The debt financing for the corporation never materialized, and the corporation did not receive the return of its $35,000 deposit.

Ivan made untruthful statements and provided false documents to FINRA when he untruthfully represented in his written response to FINRA that he had forwarded the $35,000 from the corporation to a business entity assisting with the financing, and that he did not receive any compensation or payments relating to his participation in arranging the financing. Ivan provided FINRA a document purporting to be an account statement for his outside brokerage account, which falsely reflected a wire transfer of $35,000 out of his account to a business entity assisting with the arrangement of financing, when in fact, the wire transfer amount had only been $25,000. That brokerage account statement had false entries for the figures representing the total amount of checks written and the total amount of checking, debit card and cash withdrawals.

Moreover, Ivan held a financial interest in a brokerage account maintained at another FINRA member firm without giving prompt written notification to the firm that he had such an account, and without notifying the other brokerage firm of his association with his member firm. Furthermore, Ivan falsely answered ďN/AĒ on the firmís outside brokerage account new hire certification form when requested to list every brokerage account over which he had full or partial ownership.

Douglas Daniel Ivan (Principal): Barred
Tags:  Away Accounts    Conversion    False Statements    Outside Accounts     |    In: Cases of Note : FINRA
April 2011
Richard Mark McKinnon
AWC//April 2011

McKinnon recommended the purchase of bonds, bond funds and annuities to an elderly customer who entrusted McKinnon with funds for their purchase. McKinnon deposited the funds into his personal bank account and made improper use of the funds, which included payment of personal expenses.

McKinnon accepted additional funds from the customer, which he used for personal expenses, and accepted additional funds from the customer in exchange for a promissory note he signed. McKinnon did not notify his member firm nor obtain its approval prior to entering into this arrangement with the customer. McKinnon provided false and misleading statements during FINRA testimony regarding the amount of funds he had accepted from the customer, the disposition of the funds and his purchases of securities for the customer in connection with the receipt of the funds.

Richard Mark McKinnon: Barred
Tags:  Borrowing    Promissory Notes    False Statements     |    In: Cases of Note : FINRA
Bill Singer's Comment
Good catch by FINRA.
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