A clerk counts US dollar bills at a bank

Donald Allen Blankenship of King of Prussia, PA, a stockbroker registered with Independent Financial Group, LLC, is the subject of an enforcement action initiated by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which the regulator is seeking sanctions against Blankenship based upon allegations that Blankenship engaged in unsuitable trading in mutual funds. Department of Enforcement v. D. Allen Blankenship, Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2019064333401 (December 7, 2023).

According to the Complaint, from August of 2016 to September of 2019, while registered with Independent Financial Group LLC, Blankenship recommended unsuitable short-term trading of Class A mutual funds to earn commissions. This trading allegedly resulted in excessive sales charges for 11 customer accounts, amounting to $21,158.45, and caused 37 customer accounts to miss out on $21,873.91 in breakpoint discounts.

The regulator alleged that Blankenship divided customer purchases into multiple transactions of less than $20,000.00 each to avoid a supervisory review. However, this prevented customers from receiving available breakpoint discounts.

Additionally, the Complaint stated that Blankenship mismarked 250 mutual fund transactions as unsolicited, leading to inaccuracies in IFG’s records and books.  Unsolicited means that these customers would have purchased these securities on their own initative rather than based upon the “recommendation” of Blankenship.

The charges brought against Blankenship include unsuitable trading (FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010), circumventing firm procedures (FINRA Rule 2010), and mismarking orders (FINRA Rules 4511 and 2010).

Blankenship was associated with Independent Financial Group, LLC in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, from July 8, 2016, to October 22, 2019. He was discharged by Independent Financial Group LLC based upon allegations that he violated the firm’s policy related to the submission of documents for mutual fund transactions, and failed to ensure that clients were receiving mutual fund breakpoint discounts.

Blankenship has been associated with San Blas Securities LLC in Atlanta, Georgia, since June 20, 2023. Additionally, he has been associated with SB Advisory LLC in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, since June 22, 2023.