Paul David Weiss of Miami Florida a stockbroker formerly registered with Mora WM Securities Inc. has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon findings that (1) Weiss engaged in two outside business activities which were not reported to the securities broker dealer and (2) Weiss made misleading communications relating to investments. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018058537301 (Mar. 30, 2020).
According to the AWC, in May of 2017, during the period in which Weiss was associated with Mora, he took part in an outside business activity in which he was principal of a limited liability company. FINRA reported that two other stockbrokers of Mora joined Weiss as principals for purposes of accumulating the capital to buy an industrial warehouse. The AWC indicated that a medical marijuana cultivation facility would be located at the warehouse and run by an operator who would lease the industrial warehouse from the limited liability company.
FINRA stated that in March of 2018, one of Mora’s stockbrokers and Weiss had collectively arranged for $800,125.00 to be applied towards the purchase of the property. The AWC stated that the money came from a fund in which at least three Mora customers had invested. Weiss received $119,000.00 as part of the purchase of the property and he indirectly owed the company who bought the property.
So what, however, Mora was not provided any information about Weiss’ fee or his ownership interests in the company. Weiss was also administered a 2018 annual certification in which he neglected to disclose the outside business activity. FINRA determined that Weiss violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 3270.
The AWC also stated that one of Weiss’ e-mails concerning the purchase of the property had violated content standards as it failed to provide for a balanced and fair discussion of investment risks relating to the cannabis industry which included problems with companies in the cannabis industry obtaining funds from banks and the illegality of marijuana under federal law. Weiss made unwarranted or promissory claims including that the investment did not contain the risks typical of the cannabis industry and that the business would be sustainable based on California laws. FINRA found Weiss’ conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 2210(d)(1)(F).
FINRA Public Disclosure also reveals that Weiss is the subject of a customer initiated investment related complaint almost 20 years ago in which the customer requested $150,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that the customer’s account was not properly monitored by Weiss while he was registered with CIBC World Markets Corporation. The complaint was denied by his prior employer.
Weiss’ registration with Mora WM Securities has been terminated as of May 14, 2018.