Aaron Douglas Maurer (also known as Doug Maurer), of White Plains, New York, a stockbroker formerly registered with Ascendant Alternative Strategies LLC, has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended for two years from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity founded on findings that he engaged in unapproved private securities transactions while he was employed by Ascendant Alternative Strategies. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2019061937301 (November 24, 2021).

According to the AWC, between July of 2019 and October of 2019, when Maurer was registered with Ascendant Alternative Strategies, he solicited investors to buy securities that Company A issued. The AWC stated that Maurer was Company A’s owner and board member, and the company was involved in providing services to prospective college students. The AWC states that $1,100,000.00 in membership units of Company A had been sold to twelve investors by Maurer. FINRA indicates that four investors held accounts with Ascendant Alternative Strategies.

Maurer was prohibited under Ascendant Alternative Strategies’ written supervisory procedures from engaging in private securities transactions regardless of whether he stood to earn compensation from them. Maurer was specifically required to engage in securities business through the company. FINRA states that Maurer reviewed those procedures and certified his understanding of them.

The AWC indicates that Maurer told Ascendant Alternative Strategies about Company A, including that he was a board member. But he only indicated that this was a non-investment related activity that he engaged in outside of the securities broker dealers’ auspices. Maurer never told Ascendant Alternative Strategies about his solicitation and sales of Company A’s equity interests. He never received permission from the securities broker dealer to engage in those transactions. FINRA found that Maurer violated Rules 2010 and 3280 for this reason.

FINRA Public Disclosure also shows that a customer initiated investment related civil action concerning Maurer’s activities was resolved for $5,795,000.00 in damages supported by accusations of misrepresentation by Maurer regarding the risks and features relating to promissory notes and direct investments, including direct participation program interests and limited partnership interests. Civil Action No. 3:17-cv-00869-HZ (October 18, 2017). The lawsuit alleges that the customer sustained damages on unsuitable alternative investments during the time that Maurer was associated with RP Capital LLC.

Maurer was registered with RP Capital from January 30, 2009, to April 26, 2016, Stephen A. Kohn Associates Ltd. from April 9, 2018, to May 31, 2018, and Ascendant Alternative Strategies between June 3, 2018, and December 26, 2019.

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