Michael Kris Pina of Fort Lauderdale Florida a stockbroker formerly employed by PFS Investments Inc. has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended for sixteen months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity founded on findings that Pina borrowed money from customers of the securities broker dealer. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2019061993401 (Sept. 29, 2020).
According to the AWC, in March of 2018, a total of $72,000.00 had been borrowed from four customers of PFS by Pina who had used his own company to effect the transactions. The AWC stated that $23,000.00 had been loaned by customer JP on March 15, 2018. Customer MP loaned Pina $19,000.00 on March 19, 2018. Pina borrowed $10,000.00 from customer JN on March 27, 2018. The following day, the stockbroker was loaned another $20,000.00 from customer EP.
With each of these loans, customers received promises from Pina for repayment of their funds along with interest. The regulator pointed out that there were no documents created at the time these loans were made to evidence the agreement between customers and Pina. There were no written instruments or promissory notes which reflected the terms of repayment or the interest. The AWC stated that two customers have not received a return of their funds by Pina.
The AWC also revealed that a compliance questionnaire was completed by Pina in January 2019 in which the stockbroker represented that he did not borrow funds from any customer of his at the firm. Pina’s unauthorized borrowing of customer funds was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3240.
The AWC also stated that Pina was not forthcoming with FINRA when it first questioned him as to the accusations of his misconduct. The AWC stated that on April of 2019 and July of 2019, Pina was instructed by FINRA to provide information about loans that had been made out to him by customers. This included the amounts that had been owed to each of those lenders. Pina furnished responses to FINRA on April 17, 2019 and July 22, 2019 in which he concealed the loan provided by MP and then misrepresented the loan made by JP. The stockbroker later confirmed that he misstated information in this regard. FINRA determined that Pina’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Pina is referenced in a customer initiated investment related written complaint which was resolved for $20,000.00 on February 25, 2019 based upon allegations that the PFS customer provided the stockbroker with a check for $20,000.00 after being made to believe that those funds would go towards the purchase of investments.
Pina was terminated by PFS Investments Inc. on March 7, 2019 supported by accusations of the stockbroker’s unauthorized customer loan arrangements.