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Charles Scott Burford (also known as Scott Burford), a stockbroker formerly registered with Hilltop Securities Independent Network Inc., has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended for six months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member according to a FINRA Office of Hearing Officers’ Hearing Panel Decision containing findings of Burford’s unauthorized transactions in the account of a deceased customer. Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2019064656601 (July 7, 2022).

A Complaint was filed by FINRA against Burford on September 22, 2021, alleging that he made unauthorized trades and withdrew funds from the account of a deceased customer. FINRA states that Burford followed instructions from the apparent executor of a deceased customer’s will. But at that time, the person named as executor had not submitted the customer’s will for probate, nor had the letters testamentary been issued by the court regarding the customer’s probate estate.

FINRA states that Burford knew of the procedures of the firm concerning trading, including that he was to stop trading in a customer’s account following the customer’s death until legal issues were resolved relating to the customer’s estate. The regulator determined that Burford’s $129,972.03 in securities sales and his facilitation of $84,669.87 in withdrawals from the customer’s account through ACH transactions were all unauthorized. Burford violated Rule 2010.

Burford was registered with Hilltop Securities from February 22, 1995, to November 19, 2019.