Matthew Howard Smith of Clifton Park, New York, a stockbroker formerly registered with Securities America Inc., has been charged by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Department of Enforcement with failing to cooperate with investigators in regard to the reason for his termination as a stockbroker from Securities America. Department of Enforcement v. Matthew Smith, Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2019064710601 (May 13, 2022).
According to the Complaint, Smith was terminated by Securities America on March 1, 2022, based upon accusations of him failing to comply with the firm’s requests related to an inquiry by the regulator. The Complaint states that in 2020, Smith and other individuals were under a FINRA investigation for possibly engaging in structured cash withdrawal transactions. On January 18, 2022, Smith’s lawyer received a request from FINRA for Smith’s testimony to be taken on February 8, 2022.
The regulator alleges that on February 7, 2022, Smith’s lawyer confirmed that Smith would not cooperate with the investigation. Smith failed to show up on February 8, 2022. Another request was allegedly made by the regulator on February 24, 2022. Smith’s lawyer told FINRA in a March 4, 2022, email that Smith received the request and would not comply. The Complaint alleges that on March 7, 2022, Smith never testified. Department of Enforcement alleges that Smith’s failure to testify prevented it from determining whether he engaged in the structured transactions.
Smith has been identified in two customer initiated investment related disputes regarding allegations of his wrongdoing. FINRA Public Disclosure shows that a customer filed an investment related complaint concerning Smith’s conduct where the customer sought $14,275.86 in damages founded on accusations of unsuitable advice regarding variable annuity transactions when Smith was employed by Nathan Lewis Securities Inc. Another customer filed an investment related complaint involving Smith’s conduct in which the customer requested $11,200.00 in damages supported by allegations of losses on a variable annuity held by the customer while Smith was associated with Nathan Lewis Securities.
Public Disclosure shows that Smith was registered with Cadaret Grant Co. Inc. between July 18, 2003, and September 13, 2018, and Securities America between September 12, 2018, and March 22, 2022.