Gregory Walter McCloskey (also known as Gregory Walter Meier) of Newport Beach California a stockbroker formerly registered with WestPark Capital Inc. has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity according to a FINRA Office of Hearing Officer’s Order that contains findings of McCloskey engaging in private securities transactions and making false statements with regard to his selling away activities. Department of Enforcement v. Gregory Walter McCloskey Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2018059242801 (Apr. 7, 2021).
According to the Order, from 2008 to 2018, during which time McCloskey maintained registration with securities firms Newport Coast Securities Inc. and WestPark Capital, he took part in two securities transactions away from those employers. Those transactions involved a retired and elderly widow.
The Order shows that in 2009, the customer had been solicited by McCloskey for the purchase of $20,000.00 worth of shares in a technology company’s stock. McCloskey never told Newport Coast Securities about this transaction.
The Order indicates that in 2015, FINRA began investigating whether McCloskey partook in private securities transactions. He was asked by FINRA to confirm who invested in the technology company. McCloskey confirmed that some customers invested in that company. But the regulator was not made aware about the elderly customer because McCloskey lied about it.
In April of 2018, McCloskey received a complaint from the customer regarding their investment in the technology company. McCloskey underwent a second private securities transaction at that point which involved him having his sister buy out the customer’s position in the technology company in 2018. None of this was made known to WestPark Capital as required by the securities broker dealer’s policy.
The regulator caught wind of the customer’s complaint against McCloskey at which point it began investigating him again. When McCloskey learned of FINRA’s renewed inquiry into his activities, he insisted that the customer provide him with a false statement regarding the investment. McCloskey told the customer to lie by saying that he had no part in her investment in that company. In return for lying, the customer was told that she would be able to keep the shares in addition to the $20,000 that McCloskey’s sister provided to her. The stockbroker used secretive means to communicate with the customer through this period. FINRA indicated that those secretive means evidenced a violation of FINRA rules since he failed to maintain and preserve his communications with the customer.
McCloskey was also administered a Personal Activity Questionnaire by FINRA which he falsely responded to in 2018. He mentioned in that PAQ that he was not the subject of any customer complaints in the past year. He mentioned that he did not use any non-firm-approved systems to communicate with customers. He relayed that he took no part in private securities transactions. The stockbroker also made false statements in annual compliance questionnaires to conceal his selling away activities.
FINRA determined that McCloskey violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 3280 by selling away, and that he violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210 by lying and obstructing its investigation.
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that McCloskey is referenced in a customer initiated investment related written complaint on April 30, 2018 where the customer sought $20,000.00 in damages founded on accusations of unsuitability and misrepresentation relating to a private placement transaction which the customer entered into while McCloskey was registered with Newport Coast Securities and WestPark Capital.
McCloskey was terminated by WestPark Capital on October 7, 2019 for failing to comply with a heightened supervision plan.