gavel on money

John Rosas Jaramillo of Westlake Village California a stockbroker formerly employed by Western International 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 supported by findings that Jaramillo engaged in private securities transactions involving the sale of securities in Woodbridge Group of Companies. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2020065898801 (Sept. 3, 2020).

According to the AWC, between April of 2016 and September of 2016, investors had been solicited by Jaramillo to buy promissory notes that were linked to Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC. Woodbridge is a purported real estate investment fund. Three investors had been told by Jaramillo to buy Woodbridge promissory notes. Two of those investors held accounts with Western International Securities. Jaramillo earned commissions relating to his sale of $250,000 in notes to those investors.

The AWC stated that Jaramillo was required under Western International Securities’ written supervisory procedures to provide the securities broker dealer with written notification of any of his proposed private securities transactions. Jaramillo did not do this. He never notified the securities broker dealer or obtained its permission before selling notes to investors. The AWC stated that the stockbroker also failed to disclose his activities in the course of completing a questionnaire administered to him by Western International Securities in 2016. Jaramillo denied in the questionnaire that he was selling away.

The AWC noted that in December 2017, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition had been filed by Woodbridge. That company and its founder Robert H. Shapiro were issued final judgements on December 27, 2018 which called for their disgorgement of illicit gains and their payment of a civil penalty. Woodbridge has been accused by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of being a fraudulent Ponzi scheme.

FINRA determined that Jaramillo’s activities were violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3280.

Jaramillo was discharged by Western International Securities on March 5, 2020 based upon accusations of his prohibited sale of products while he was registered with the securities broker dealer.