Eric Kuchel, of Brea, California, a stockbroker with Crown Capital Securities, L.P., was permanently barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member per a Default Decision from FINRA’s Department of Enforcement containing findings that Brea failed to cooperate in a FINRA investigation into Kuchel’s alleged private securities transactions. Department of Enforcement v. Kuchel, No. 2015047966701 (May 9, 2016).
According to the Decision, in 2014, FINRA launched an investigation into Kuchel’s mutual fund transactions that were effected while Brea was with his firm, as well as allegations of Kuchel’s participation in unauthorized private securities transactions. FINRA requested that Kuchel provide on-the-record testimony, per Rule 8210, in connection with the investigation.
Kuchel apparently made arrangements to have his testimony rescheduled. Just prior to Kuchel’s scheduled testimony, his counsel informed FINRA that Kuchel was unavailable, and needed to reschedule. After setting a new date, Kuchel reportedly showed up for testimony on August 19, 2015. Apparently, Kuchel stopped the proceeding after a few hours, claiming that the issues that FINRA looked for him to discuss were over his head, and requested to speak with his counsel prior to responding further.
The Decision stated that FINRA provided Kuchel an accommodation and rescheduled his testimony. Kuchel apparently failed to show up for this October 28, 2015 proceeding. Kuchel reportedly responded to additional FINRA requests for participation by indicating that he had not secured counsel. Subsequently, Kuchel failed to show up to another scheduled proceeding on November 18, 2015.
FINRA eventually lodged a Complaint against Kuchel, alleging that his ongoing failures to cooperate was violative of FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010. The Decision stated that Kuchel never responded to the FINRA Complaints, which led to FINRA’s findings that Kuchel violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010.
Public disclosure records reveal that Kuchel has been subject to eight disclosure incidents. On August 22, 2012, a customer was awarded $227,468.00 after alleging unsuitability, misrepresentation, failure to supervise, and breach of fiduciary duty. On June 9, 2015, Kuchel settled a customer dispute for $50,000.00 after clients alleged negligence, fraud, unsuitable recommendations, and failure to conduct due-diligence pertaining to real estate investment trusts. Kuchel has been subject to three pending customer disputes from December 30, 2015 through January 19, 2016, where customers are all alleging unauthorized trading activity.
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