Keith Todd Ashley, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a stockbroker formerly registered with Parkland Securities LLC, has been charged by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Department of Enforcement with failing to comply with FINRA’s investigation, which focused on accusations of Ashley’s private securities transactions, outside business activities, and misappropriation of Parkland Securities customer funds. Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2020068470002 (December 10, 2021).

According to the Complaint, Ashley was discharged by Parkland Securities based upon allegations that he took part in undisclosed outside business activities and private securities transactions. The regulator launched an investigation into Ashley following Parkland Securities’ notification of his termination, seeking to determine if Ashley violated FINRA rules.

FINRA notes that in November of 2020, Ashley was indicted by a federal grand jury on six counts of wire fraud. Ashley is accused of soliciting funds from investors who believed their assets would be used for unit investment trust transactions. Customers were allegedly provided with false information from Ashley about the investments. They were purportedly led to believe that there was no risk to principal and that returns were guaranteed.

The indictment alleges that Ashley did not use the investors’ funds for UIT purchases. Instead, he purportedly misappropriated $1,000,000.00 of investor funds at the casino and to pay his mortgage, student loans, and credit cards.

FINRA’s investigation went from focusing on Ashley’s possible private securities transactions to focusing on whether Ashley misappropriated investor funds and committed fraud.

On January 22, 2021, Ashley was asked by FINRA to provide information in response to the accusations. He was supposed to respond by February 12, 2021, but never did. On February 23, 2021, Ashley was sent another request relating to the investigation. Ashley failed to respond by March 17, 2021. FINRA states that Ashley violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210 by obstructing the investigation.

Ashley was registered with Parkland Securities between February 9, 2002, and October 27, 2020.

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