Robert Kevin Connors, of New York, New York, a stockbroker with Gilford Securities Incorporated, was fined $10,000.00 and suspended for three months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity after consenting to findings that he engaged in unauthorized private securities transactions or selling away and unauthorized borrowing from a customer. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2014042004001 (Mar. 14, 2016).
According to the AWC, from December 2012 through January 2013, Connors engaged in a private securities transaction without informing his firm and gaining their approval. The AWC stated that Connors discussed with an individual an investment opportunity in a company that was headed by an individual that Connors formerly worked with.
The AWC stated that Connors made the arrangements for the prospective investor and his former colleague to meet. Connors reportedly took part in a meeting among the individuals in 2013, where the customer subsequently purchased $375,000.00 worth of securities in the aforementioned company.
According to the AWC, Gilford Securities prohibited Connors from the participation of private securities transactions unless the firm approved of the terms and conditions of such transactions, as well as Gilford’s role in such. Gilford reportedly failed to inform his firm and gain approval in this regard. FINRA found that Connors conduct was violative of NASD Rule 3040 and FINRA Rule 2010 for engaging in the aforementioned private securities transaction.
The AWC further indicated that in January 2013, Gilford solicited and received a loan from his former colleague in the amount of $200,000.00. The former colleague apparently opened an account with Connor’s firm in January 2013. The AWC stated that Gilford had prohibited loans from being provided by customers of the firm absent written pre-approval.
The AWC stated that Connors was not permitted to obtain such loan per his firm’s policies and procedures. Connors reportedly failed to inform his firm regarding the loan and obtain approval, leading FINRA to find that Connors violated NASD Rule 3240 and FINRA Rule 2010 as a result.
Public disclosure records reveal that Connors has been subject to nine disclosure incidents. On August 15, 1990, Lehman Brothers, Inc. terminated Connors amid allegations that he violated his firm’s procedures concerning discretionary trading. On January 15, 1995, Connors settled a customer dispute for $11,000.00 amid allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and churning.
On September 28, 1998, Connors settled a customer dispute for $7,500.00 after a customer alleged excessive trading, unsuitable investment recommendations, and breach of fiduciary duty. On September 18, 2011, Connors settled a customer dispute for $11,500.00 after a client alleged an unsuitable private placement investment.
On June 20, 2014, Gilford Securities terminated Connors amid allegations of Connors admitting to receiving funds from a client without his firm’s knowledge or approval. Connors became subject to a pending customer dispute on December 2, 2014, where a customer is requesting $875,000.00 after alleging that Connors received commissions on an undisclosed transaction.
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