Craig Edward Lewis, of Atlanta, Georgia, a stockbroker formerly registered with VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc., has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity by consenting to findings that he obstructed a FINRA investigation into allegations that he engaged in unapproved outside business activities and sold away from his firm. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 20160509111102 (Nov. 29, 2017).

According to the AWC, Lewis testified before FINRA staff on August 8, 2017, in regard to accusations of his wrongdoing. Apparently, additional evidence was ascertained by FINRA subsequent to Lewis’ testimony, raising FINRA’s suspicion that Lewis pursued outside business activities in which he sold equity indexed annuities to the firm’s customers that were issued through an unaffiliated life insurance company.

FINRA also determined that Lewis may have traded in a customer’s account that was held outside of VALIC Financial Advisors, where he failed to inform that firm about Lewis’ association with VALIC Financial Advisors. Lewis reportedly traded securities in a personal account held elsewhere without ever having informed that firm about his registered representative status.

Apparently, a letter was sent by FINRA on October 2, 2017, according to Rule 8210, which called upon Lewis to provide recorded testimony for FINRA staff. The AWC stated that Lewis then notified FINRA on October 17, 2017, confirming that he would not cooperate with FINRA’s request, nor make any appearance at any point in the investigation. Consequently, FINRA concluded Lewis’ failure to testify as conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210, leading to his permanent bar.

FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that on July 15, 2016, a customer filed an investment related written complaint involving Lewis’ conduct, where the customer requested $5,000.00 in damages supported by accusations that the customer’s annuity application contained signatures that has been forged.

Thereafter, on September 1, 2016, a customer filed an investment related written complaint involving Lewis’ conduct, in which the customer sought $8,944.10 in damages based upon allegations that Lewis traded options and equities in a customer’s account away from the firm, where he represented that the customer’s assets would be safe but then caused the customer’s account value to sustain significant losses.

Lewis’ registration with VALIC Financial Advisors was terminated as of March 3, 2016.

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