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Thomas Ward Stratton of Melbourne Florida a stockbroker formerly registered with World Choice Securities Inc. has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity supported by findings that Stratton failed to comply with the regulator during the period that he was under an investigation relating to his sale of promissory notes and his misuse of customer funds when he was associated with World Choice Securities. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2021071245401 (Aug. 12, 2021).

According to the AWC, on May 28, 2021, Stratton was the subject of a FINRA investigation in which he was required under FINRA rules to cooperate or face sanctions. He was asked to provide documents and information in regard to the regulator’s investigation into his possible misuse of a customer’s funds. Stratton potentially wrongfully used that customer’s assets for promissory notes which pertained to a life insurance policy of a third party. The regulator also sought information from Stratton to determine whether he misrepresented information to the customer in regard to the promissory notes.

The AWC stated that Stratton was not responsive to FINRA’s May 28, 2021 request. He was sent another request on June 28, 2021. Only a partial response was provided by him. According to the AWC, on July 13, 2021, a third and final request was sent to Stratton from FINRA. Stratton was specifically notified about what he did produce documents required to satisfy the FINRA’s requests.

On August 3, 2021, Stratton’s lawyer told FINRA about Stratton receiving the requests and refusing to cooperate going forward. Stratton never provided the missing information to FINRA. He violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210 and was barred as a result.

Stratton resigned from World Choice Securities on August 13, 2021 which was during the time that he was under a FINRA investigation for failing to provide the regulator with information.

FINRA Public Disclosure additionally shows that on October 17, 2016, a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim involving Stratton’s activities was resolved for $50,000.00 in damages based on allegations that Stratton breached a fiduciary duty to the customer as it related to an investment contract for common and preferred stock trades. FINRA Arbitration No. 16-01893. According to the claim, the customer’s account had been overconcentrated in stocks. Margin was allegedly used to effect unsuitable transactions. The claim also alleges that the customer’s account was poorly managed.

Stratton was registered with World Choice Securities between January 5, 2004 and August 12, 2021.