Enforcement Actions
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
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.
December 2010
Daniel Lee Kurtz
AWC/2009020618301/December 2010

Kurtz created a false document, which he labeled a “Contract Investment Summary,” that showed a balance of $9,193.36 in an account when the actual value at the time was less than $500, and placed his firm’s logo on the document without the firm authorizing his use of either the form of the document or the information contained in it. The false document was an intentional misrepresentation of the value of a 529 plan account established for Kurtz’ relative’s benefit.

Kurtz used the document when an opposing counsel in Kurtz’ divorce case informally, not as part of the divorce proceeding, inquired about the value of the 529 plan account, and Kurtz may not have had an obligation to respond to the inquiry.

Kurtz had withdrawn funds from the account to pay for household expenses and provided the document to the counsel in a manner that suggested that it was an authentic and official document of his firm.

Daniel Lee Kurtz : Fined $5,000; Suspended 6 months
Bill Singer's Comment

This one is certainly an oddball case.  On the one hand, I fully appreciate both FINRA and the employer firm's concern about the fabrication of the 529 plan documentation.  However, given that it was, essentially, Kurtz's plan and that the false document was provided to hiw wife's divorce lawyer in response to an "informal" request, I'm not exactly sure that the remedy here is for FINRA to suspend the guy for 6 months under the totality of the circumstances.  I'm still a bit uncomfortable with FINRA viewing this as a regulatory matter but not totally. Okay -- we'll call this a "push" and leave it at that.

October 2010
Steven Michael Mandala
AWC/2010022904801/October 2010
Mandala completed an employment application with a member firm in which he falsely represented his annual compensation at a previous securities firm and falsely represented the customer assets he managed and the revenues generated. Mandala provided the firm with numerous fictitious documents supporting his claims and, based upon his false representations, he obtained an upfront loan of $780,000 from the firm. The firm learned of his falsified and altered documents, terminated Mandala’s employment, and requested payment of the promissory note, which he agreed to pay on a future date.
Steven Michael Mandala : bARRED
Tags:  False Statements         |    In: Cases of Note : FINRA
Enforcement Actions