Efrain Balderrama Trujillo, of Los Angeles, California, a stockbroker formerly registered with Western International Securities Inc., was discharged by the securities broker dealer on October 26, 2021, supported by accusations that he borrowed money from a customer.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Public Disclosure additionally reveals that Trujillo has been fined $20,000.00 and barred from associating with any FINRA member in any principal capacity based upon findings that he failed to supervise stockbrokers, resulting in unsuitable non-traditional exchange-traded product sales and low-priced securities sales in customer accounts during the time that he was registered with Financial West Group. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2017054755208 (November 17, 2020).
According to the AWC, between December of 2013 and July of 2017, Trujillo was responsible for supervising stockbrokers at Financial West Group’s branch office in Brentwood, California. Four stockbrokers at that office engaged in suspicious activities that Trujillo should have investigated. But Trujillo overlooked red flags of stockbrokers’ potentially unsuitable recommendations of non-traditional ETPs and low-priced securities.
Trujillo was made aware by a Financial West Group compliance principal that stockbrokers were potentially making excessive trades in nine customer accounts. Other red flags that Trujillo should have known about but overlooked included stockbrokers trading in a way that conflicted with customers’ investment objectives, and leveraged or inverse ETF positions being held in customers’ accounts for extended periods. The trade blotter used by Financial West Group showed that stockbrokers engaged in high-volume trading and charged high commissions to customers. The regulator noted that losses were sustained in all nine customer accounts.
The stockbrokers were not disciplined by Trujillo despite these red flags. FINRA determined that Trujillo failed to supervise by ignoring the red flags that suggested unsuitable and excessive trading. He violated FNIRA Rules 3110(a), 2360(b)(20), 3110(a), and 2010.
FINRA Public Disclosure also shows that a customer initiated investment related complaint regarding Trujillo’s activities was resolved for $45,474.00 in damages founded on allegations of unsuitable recommendations of stock and over-the-counter equities trades at Financial West Group.
Trujillo was registered with Financial West Group between June 25, 2012, and August 21, 2017. The securities broker dealer was expelled by FINRA on February 13, 2020. Trujillo was registered with Western International Securities between August 21, 2017, and October 27, 2021.