Ronald Burton Smith, of Bordentown, New Jersey, a stockbroker registered with PTS Brokerage LLC, has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity because Smith made false statements to a PTS Brokerage LLC supervisor, used unauthorized means to communicate with customers, and refused to comply with FINRA’s requests for documents and information. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2022077273801 (August 11, 2023).
On January 3, 2023, PTS Brokerage had filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration stating that they had discharged Smith for allegedly breaching the firm’s policies and for being dishonest with his supervisor. The origin of FINRA’s investigation into Smith’s actions came from a complaint that was lodged against him by a former customer of his.
During the investigation, on January 18, 2023, in relation to the claims against Smith, FINRA approached Smith with a request to produce documents that included bank and brokerage account statements. Even though Smith provided some information, he did not provide all of the monthly statements that FINRA asked for.
A subsequent request from FINRA on July 3, 2023, sought complete information in response to their initial January request. By August 11, 2023, through his lawyer’s communication to FINRA, Smith confirmed that he had received the request from FINRA but would not hand over the requested information or documents at any time.
Therefore, FINRA found that Smith violated Rules 2010 and 8210.
This is not the first time that Smith has been the subject of a regulatory action concerning Smith’s conduct in the securities industry. FINRA Public Disclosure shows that Smith has been sanctioned by the Insurance Department of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania because Smith failed to supervise an employee. Case No. CO22-01-016 (February 4, 2022).
On January 20, 2022, the Insurance Department of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania initiated regulatory action against Smith while he was with PTS Brokerage LLC. Sanctions against Smith included a cease and desist order and a $2,500.00 fine.
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Smith has been identified in two customer initiated investment related disputes containing allegations of his conduct while registered with securities broker dealers. Specifically, on December 28, 2022, a customer filed an investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim involving Smith’s conduct in which the customer requested $2,000,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that Smith failed to follow the customer’s instructions, misrepresented account positions, and made omissions of material fact regarding the customer’s margin balance and short option positions when Smith was associated with PTS Brokerage LLC. FINRA Arbitration No. 22-02828. As of October 16, 2023, this matter remains pending.
On June 13, 2016, another customer initiated investment related civil action involving Smith’s conduct was settled for $50,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that Smith charged excessive fees to the customer in connection with the sale of insurance products. Civil Action No. BURL-1210-16.
Smith was associated with PTS Brokerage LLC in Bordentown, New Jersey from August 25, 2004, to January 3, 2023.