Matthew Alan Morris of Hopewell Virginia a stockbroker formerly employed by SunTrust Investment Services Inc. has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended for three months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that he forged signatures on account documentation. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2017053810301 (July 10, 2018).

According to the AWC, between 2015 and 2017, during the time that Morris was associated with SunTrust, Morris altered at least seventy customer account forms by tracing customer signatures or cutting and pasting signatures. Apparently, Morris altered fund transfer forms, annuity replacement forms, individual retirement account applications and brokerage account applications, affecting sixteen of the firm’s customers in the process. The AWC revealed that customers neither knew nor approved of Morris’ altering of their account documents. Moreover, Morris apparently completed compliance attestations in 2015 and 2016 in which he stated that he would not place a customer’s signature on account documentation despite Morris’ activities demonstrating the exact opposite result.

The AWC stated that Morris attempted to pass off the altered documents as original documentation to establish investment accounts and effect transactions; conduct violative of FINRA Rule 2010. FINRA also found that Morris’ activities were violative of FINRA Rule 4511 for having caused the firm to establish and store incorrect records in violation of Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Section 17(a) and Rule 17a-3. SunTrust Investment Services Inc. discharged Morris on March 23, 2017 supported by accusations of Morris’ forgery.

FINRA Public Disclosure additionally confirms that a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim regarding Morris’ conduct was resolved for $4,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that while he was associated with previous employer, Morgan Stanley DW Inc., stock trades were placed in the customer’s account that were not suitable for the customer, and the customer’s account had been inappropriately administered. National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Arbitration No. 03-08064 (Dec. 29, 2003).

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