David Apted of Clayton, Missouri, a stockbroker formerly registered with Smith, Moore & Co., has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended for four months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon allegations that Apted, inter alia, sold away from his firm relating to customers’ investments in a venture-capital fund. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2016049587401 (Oct. 20, 2017).

According to the AWC, in December of 2015, during the time that Apted was associated with Smith, Moore & Co., he corresponded with customers who were interested in a venture-capital fund offered through Smith, Moore & Co. Apparently, the venture-capital fund was also offered through Forest Securities, Inc. – the firm that Apted eventually became employed by. Apted then referred the customers to Forest Securities, Inc. to make the investment in the venture-capital fund.

Apparently, Apted provided those customers with explanations regarding the costs and structure for investing, facilitated a meeting with the representative of the venture-capital fund, advised the customers about investing, aided them in the completion of the subscription agreements, and assisted with the wiring of one of the customer’s funds. The AWC stated that customers allocated $300,000.00 to the venture-capital fund from January of 2016 to February of 2016.

The AWC stated that Smith, Moore & Co. was deprived of knowledge about the customers’ $300,000.00 investment and the other activities that Apted engaged in with respect to the customers’ investment. According to the firm’s policies, Apted was not allowed to engage in any securities transactions away from the firm, and Apted even attested to having understood the restrictions imposed upon him in that respect. Smith, Moore & Co. fired Apted on March 14, 2016, based on allegations of selling away. FINRA found Apted’s conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3280.

Apted has been employed with Forest Securities, Inc. since March 15, 2016.

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