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.
Lawrence Maxwell McCoy AWC/2008013278101/December 2009
McCoy converted funds belonging to an elderly public customer totaling approximately $44,000 without her knowledge and consent by contacting the mutual fund company that held her funds and requesting numerous redemptions. McCoy converted additional funds belonging to the customer totaling $34,000, without her knowledge and consent, by forging her checks and making them payable to a company he controlled that was disclosed to his firm as an outside business activity.
Sherolyn Rae Leeper AWC/2009016624501/December 2009
Leeper misappropriated approximately $31,663.01 from customers by writing checks against their brokerage accounts and forging their signatures. Leeper deposited the checks into her personal bank account and converted the proceeds for her own use and benefit. Leeper failed to respond to FINRA requests for information.
Vincent John Miller AWC/2008012562901/December 2009
Miller made a recommendation to an elderly customer that the customer invest in shares of a real estate investment trust (REIT). The customer withdrew funds from existing investments and gave Miller over $1 million to purchase REIT shares.
Miller only invested a portion of the customerís funds in REIT shares and misappropriated $433,543.22 of the funds by depositing the checks into his personal bank account for his personal use, including gambling, mortgage payments, credit card bills and other personal expenses. Miller failed to respond to FINRA requests for information.
William Ambos Gill AWC/2009016629001/November 2009
Gill withdrew $13,000 from a customerís securities account without the customerís knowledge or permission by having checks drawn on the account payable to the customer. The checks were sent to Gillís office, where he signed the customerís name on the receipt acknowledging delivery, signed the customerís name on the reverse side of the checks andmade each check payable to himself. Gill signed his own name beneath the customerís purported endorsement and then deposited the funds into his personal checking account.
Before my second career as a lawyer, I was the third generation of my family in the wine and liquor industry. In 1981, I started law school; and in 1982, I was hired as a law student in Smith Barney, Harris & Upham's Legal Department. After I graduated law school, I was a regulatory lawyer with the American Stock Exchange and then with the NASD (now... Read On