Court Room

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA does not take kindly to stockbrokers who fail to disclose tax liens, perhaps because such behavior can signal un-trustworthiness, the last thing you want to see in a stockbroker.

If you are a stockbroker who fails to timely disclose such liens per FINRA rules, you are likely to be sanctioned and suspended, although the amounts and time periods are modest.

Curt J. High and Thomas Salway Fined & Suspended

The threat of sanction and suspension does not seem to have made much of an impression on Curt J. High and Thomas Salway. These two brokers only disclosed the liens placed upon them by the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, after the liens were discovered by their employer. They both worked for ING Financial Partners Inc.

Last month, both were fined $5,000 and suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity. High was suspended for three months, according to his letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, or AWC. Salway was suspended for 60 days, his AWC said. They had previously been terminated by ING.

High and Salway’s Acceptance, Waiver and Consent

AWCs settle disciplinary actions on the condition that FINRA, if the AWC is accepted, will not bring any future actions against the broker alleging violations based on the same facts.

High’s AWC includes a finding that he “willfully omitted to state material facts,” on a form required to maintain registration as a broker, an omission that made him subject to a statutory disqualification from association with FINRA members per the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and FINRA by-laws.

Salway’s AWC contains a finding that he “willfully failed to disclose material facts” on his form, making him subject to the same statutory disqualification.

Curt J. High

High’s troubles began in September 2006. From that time through early April, 2010, the IRS and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue filed four tax liens totaling about $285,000 against him for unpaid taxes for the 2006, 2007 and 2008 tax years.

About a month after his firm ING discovered the liens in March 2010, High amended his registration form, the AWC said. He had received notice of the liens at his home between 2006 and 2008 when the liens were assessed, which led FINRA to conclude High had willfully failed to amend his form within 30 days to reflect the liens, as required by FINRA rules.

The fine was due and payable either immediately, or upon re-association with a member firm following his three-month suspension, or before any request for relief from any statutory disqualification stemming from the disciplinary proceedings, whichever is earlier, the AWC said.

High first registered with FINRA as an “Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative” in 1990 through a member firm, and he became a “General Securities Representative,” in 1991, the AWC said. In April 2008, he joined ING in Gilbertsville, Pa., as a General Securities Representative, where he worked until his termination in April 2010. High has no relevant disciplinary history, according to the AWC.

A BrokerCheck Report from FINRA states that before his employment with ING, High worked for BCG Securities Inc. in Delran, N.J., American Express Financial Advisors Inc. in West Conshohocken, Pa., IDS Life Insurance Co., also in West Conshohocken, and Dengler & Peterson in Douglassville, Pa.

Thomas Salway

Salway is on the hook to Uncle Sam for less than High. The IRS filed a federal tax lien against him for about $46,000 in January 2010, and he failed to amend his registration form until early April 2010, after ING discovered the lien and instructed him to amend. Salway worked for ING in Las Vegas, Nev., according to a BrokerCheck Report from FINRA. ING disciplined Salway on two previous occasions for failure to timely disclose tax lien information to the firm, and for failure to update his registration form, the AWC said. His willful failure to amend his form within 30 days violated FINRA rules.

First registered with FINRA for a “Series 6” license in 1993, Salway was registered as a Series 6, 63 and 65 license holder with ING from January 1996 until his termination in June 2010. Previous to his work for ING, Salway worked for Cecil Muggy Co. in Torrance, Calif.; for Kemper Life Insurance in Midvale, Utah; and for Washington Financial and Washington Square Securities Inc., both also in Midvale.

Guiliano Law Group

Investors suffering losses or damages from such conduct may be able to recover their investment losses. Our practice is limited to the representation of investors in claims, for fraud in connection with the sale of securities, the sale or recommendation of excessively risky or unsuitable securities, breach of fiduciary duty, and the failure to supervise. We accept representation on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we make a recovery for you, and there is never any charge for a consultation or an evaluation of your claim. For more information contact us at (877) SEC-ATTY.