John Albert Westbrook (also known as Al Westbrook) of McDonough Georgia a stockbroker formerly registered with Center Street Securities Inc. has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended for five months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based on findings that he engaged in unauthorized private securities transactions while registered with Center Street. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2019064668001 (Nov. 10, 2020).
According to the AWC, between October 1, 2016 and May 9, 2017, three investors had been solicited by Westbrook to buy a total of $350,335.00 worth of investments in Future Income Payments LLC. The AWC stated that FIP was a structured cash flow investment. That company paid pensioners for their pensions and then sold those pensions to investors through pension streams. Customers were offered between seven and eight percent returns by investing. The regulator noted that Westbrook took $14,013.00 in commissions for selling the FIP securities. The AWC stated that FIP closed up shop in April of 2018 owing about $300,000,000.00 to investors.
The AWC stated that Center Street Securities maintained policies between October 2016 and May 2017 which prohibited stockbrokers from engaging in securities transactions away from the securities broker dealer absent them possessing written approval to effect the transactions. There was no point where Westbrook made Center Street Securities aware of his actions. FINRA determined that Westbrook was selling away in violation of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3280.
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Westbrook is the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer sought $290,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that the customer had been placed into Future Income Payments LLC without Westbrook explaining what the customer would be investing in. FINRA Arbitration No. 20-01961 (June 22, 2020). According to the claim, the product was not approved by Center Street Securities and the stockbroker was negligent for effecting this customer’s purchase. The claim also alleges that Future Income Payments had failed to be suitable for the customer.
Westbrook was discharged by Center Street Securities on February 10, 2020 supported by allegations of him using an unauthorized email address in violation of the policies of the securities broker dealer.