Jeremiah Roman of Coral Springs, Florida, a stockbroker registered with PFS Investments Inc., has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended for four months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity because Roman engaged in private securities transactions or selling away during the time that he was associated with PFS Investments Inc. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2021072968801 (July 18, 2023).
On October 27, 2021, a Form U5 received by FINRA reported that PFSI had terminated Roman. This decision by the securities broker dealer came after allegations surfaced that Roman was involved in unauthorized private securities transactions and outside business activities.
From September of 2020 to June of 2021, PFSI’s rules required its stockbrokers to get written permission from the firm before taking part in any private securities transactions that were not part of their regular work duties, which included their own personal investments. Despite these rules, Roman made a series of investments worth a total of $44,100 with a company named Company A. He didn’t go through PFSI or even notify them about these investments before making them.
According to the AWC, Roman had signed eight merchant cash advance agreements with Company A, where Roman would receive a specified payment each month in exchange for investments. These investments were classified as securities, according to the regulator.
In addition to his own investments, Roman steered a customer of the securities broker dealer towards investing in Company A in March and April 2021. He made the introduction to Company A, provided the customer with marketing documentation, and helped the customer make the investment. The customer ended up investing a total of $150,000 by way of three different merchant cash advance agreements. Despite being asked by PFSI’s compliance personnel to report his activities related to Company A, Roman failed to disclose his involvement in the customer’s investments to the securities broker dealer.
Roman also provided false information on an annual compliance questionnaire, stating that he hadn’t participated in any private securities transactions without PFSI’s approval. As a result of these actions, Roman violated FINRA Rules 3280 and 2010.
Public Disclosure shows that Roman was also referenced in a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim that was settled for $45,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that Roman engaged in an undisclosed outside business activity with the customer’s funds. FINRA Arbitration No. 22-01459 (February 28, 2023).
Roman was registered with PFS Investments Inc. as a stockbroker from June 27, 2014, to October 27, 2021. Roman was discharged by PFS Investments Inc. on October 27, 2021, based upon allegations that Roman engaged in an undisclosed outside business activity.