Gregory Edward Collins (also known as Greg Collins), of East Greenbush, New York, a stockbroker registered with LPL Financial LLC, has been fined $12,500.00 and suspended for six months by FINRA because Collins engaged in private securities transactions and outside business activities during the time that he was associated with LPL Financial. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2022073844901 (July 24, 2023).
On January 4, 2022, LPL Financial filed a form that revealed an internal investigation found that Collins, a former employee, had conducted business activities without their permission. These activities included courses on financial education, which the firm had disapproved of, and hedge fund consulting, which was also disapproved.
Between 2019 and 2021, Collins made more than $150,000.00 from businesses that were not affiliated with his job at LPL. These activities included lecturing on finance at two universities and working for a retail distributor, all of which he did not inform LPL about or otherwise result in permission to do. LPL’s rules required its stockbrokers to get written permission from the firm before conducting private securities transactions. The securities broker dealer didn’t allow representatives to do these transactions before getting approval from the firm.
Despite being denied permission by the firm, Collins worked as a hedge fund’s strategic advisor from July 2019 to July 2021. He provided the hedge fund with investment advice and was compensated about $5,000.00 monthly. Collins initially misrepresented to LPL that he was just a consultant. LPL’s policies did not allow brokers to partake in such activities, and they had denied Collins’s request to do so. Despite this, Collins continued to act as a hedge fund advisor until June of 2021, when LPL began looking into his involvement in unauthorized business activities.
Collins also ran a website that aimed to sell online financial education courses. Despite the firm’s explicit denial of approval, Collins kept the website running until July of 2021, with expectations of earning from it as it charged fees for its courses.
In June and July 2021, Collins also traded securities for the hedge fund without letting LPL know. Therefore, the regulator found that he violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 3280.
Collins also submitted two incorrect attestations to LPL between 2019 and July 2021, claiming that he had made full disclosure of any outside businesses. Therefore, he violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 3270.
Collins was registered with LPL Financial LLC as a stockbroker from February 22, 2018, to August 4, 2021.