Jeremy T. Monte, of Fairport, New York, a stockbroker formerly registered with American Portfolios Financial Services, has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that he partook in outside business activities and private securities transactions which his firm did not authorize. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2015046958301 (Sept. 6, 2016).

According to the AWC, Montbrier I was formed via Monte in March of 2014, as a holding company for subsidiaries in the securities business. The AWC stated that although Montbrier 1’s subsidiaries had been disclosed by Monte to American Portfolios Financial Services, Monte failed to disclose Montbrier I until June of 2014. Monte reportedly failed to indicate that he held an officer role within the holding company.

The AWC revealed that in April of 2014, funds had been solicited and obtained from customers via Monte’s efforts in the course of facilitating Montbriar I’s private offering of equities. The AWC stated that a Form D was filed by Monte with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 19, 2014. However, no notice had been provided by Monte to his firm regarding the private equity offering. Monte reportedly accumulated in excess of $600,000.00 from eighteen customers, several of whom had accounts with American Portfolios Financial Services.

The AWC indicated that annual compliance questionnaires were submitted by Monte in 2014 and 2015, in which Monte lied by stating that he did not partake in private securities transactions. FINRA found that Monte’s conduct, which included omitting from his firm that he facilitated private securities transactions, was violative of FINRA Rule 2010 and NASD Rule 3040.

The AWC additionally stated that another public company, Montbriar II, was acquired by Monte in February of 2015, wherein Monte assumed the role of the firm’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer. Evidently, Montbriar II was not disclosed by Monte to his firm as an outside business activity. Consequently, FINRA found that Monte’s failure to disclose his outside business activities was conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3270.

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Monte has been identified in three customer initiated investment related disputes containing allegations of his misconduct while employed with LPL Financial LLC, Mutual Service Corp., Inc., and American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. Particularly, on April 19, 2012, a customer initiated investment related written complaint involving Monte’s conduct was settled for $22,500.00 in damages based upon allegations that Monte mismanaged the customer’s investments and was responsible for the customer’s poor returns pertaining to a variable annuity investment.

On July 24, 2013, a customer initiated investment related written complaint regarding Monte’s activities was resolved for $22,500.00 in damages based upon allegations that Monte effected unsuitable transactions in the customer’s account concerning real estate securities and variable annuities. Subsequently, on March 12, 2015, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim involving Monte’s conduct based upon allegations that Monte charged the customer excessively in connection with the customer’s variable annuity and real estate investment trust securities transactions, which ultimately led the customer to bear significant losses.

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