Donna Jean Hines (also known as Donna Jean Atchison) of Clarksburg, West Virginia, a stockbroker formerly employed by Cetera Advisors LLC, has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity founded upon findings that Hines failed to cooperate with an investigation into accusations of her outside activities, including facilitating a bitcoin transaction on behalf of a customer of Cetera Advisors. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2021070010301 (November 8, 2021).
According to the AWC, FINRA launched an investigation into Hines supported by allegations that a customer made against her in a lawsuit. Hines allegedly helped a customer effect a bitcoin investment for compensation. This transaction allegedly occurred away from Cetera Advisors.
The AWC states that Hines stopped cooperating with FINRA’s investigation by September of 2021. On September 16, 2021, FINRA requested for Hines to make an appearance and testify about the accusations made against her. Hines’ lawyer told FINRA in a September 30, 2021 phone call that Hines would not cooperate with the request. Hines failed to testify, preventing FINRA from determining whether she violated FINRA rules through her involvement with the Cetera Advisors customer. Hines violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210 by obstructing the investigation. She was barred as a stockbroker for this reason alone.
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Hines has been identified in five customer initiated investment related disputes concerning allegations of her wrongdoing while employed by Cetera Advisors and Investment Planners Inc. On November 4, 2016, a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim regarding Hines’ activities was resolved for $100,000.00 in damages supported by accusations of negligence as it pertained to the customer’s investments in non-traded real estate investment trusts, oil and gas securities, equipment leasing products, and a variable annuity. FINRA Arbitration No. 15-03372. The claim also alleges that misrepresentations and omissions were made by Hines at Investment Planners.
Hines is also referenced in a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim which was settled for $100,000.00 in damages founded upon allegations of Hines misrepresenting and omitting information relating to the customer’s alternative investments, including non-traded REITs and equipment leasing securities, when Hines was registered with Investment Planners. FINRA Arbitration No. 15-03370 (November 4, 2016).
On July 18, 2019, a customer initiated investment related civil action concerning Hines’ activities was brought in a Lewis County, West Virginia circuit court. Case No. 18-C-38. The claim settled for $137,500.00 in damages based upon allegations that Hines breached a fiduciary duty to the customer in reference to a variable annuity. According to the claim, the customer was placed in unsuitable investments between 2005 and 2018. The claim also alleges that the customer was defrauded.
Hines is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related civil action where the customer sought compensatory damages founded upon accusations that they were defrauded by entering a bitcoin transaction through Hines while she was employed by Cetera Advisors. Civil Action No. 21-C-22-3. The claim alleges that Hines breached a fiduciary duty regarding the transaction and committed negligence. According to the claim, Hines also made misrepresentations.
Hines was employed by Cetera Advisors between October 18, 2013, and May 4, 2021.