FINRA Bars Ameriprise Stockbroker In Investigation
Arthur Stewart Hoffman (also known as Art S. Hoffman) of Glendale Arizona a stockbroker formerly registered with Ameriprise Financial Services LLC has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon findings that he failed to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into allegations of him engaging in unpermitted private securities transactions and outside business activities while registered with Ameriprise Financial Services. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2020066342101 (May 13, 2020).
According to the AWC, on April 17, 2020, a FINRA investigation into Hoffman’s activities had commenced following a disclosure made by Ameriprise Financial Services in regard to Hoffman’s activities. The regulator received confirmation from Ameriprise Financial Services on April 13, 2020 that Hoffman was suspended for failing to comply with the securities broker dealer’s policy as it pertained to private securities transactions and outside business activities.
The AWC stated that on April 24, 2020, Hoffman was instructed by FINRA personnel to hand over documentation and information as part of its investigation into his activities. The regulator received a phone call from Hoffman on May 4, 2020 at which time the stockbroker made it clear that he was not going to cooperate with FINRA’s instructions. Hoffman failed to hand over the documentation and information requested by FINRA which prevented the regulator from determining if Hoffman sold away or engaged in outside business activities as alleged by Ameriprise Financial Services. FINRA determined that Hoffman violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
After being suspended, Hoffman was discharged by Ameriprise Financial Services on May 13, 2020 based upon accusations of the stockbroker having violated its rules concerning private securities transactions and outside business activities.
FINRA Public Disclosure also reveals that Hoffman is the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which settled for $329,500.00 in damages based upon allegations that a Wedbush Securities customer had been defrauded by investing in leveraged exchange traded funds because of Hoffman. FINRA Arbitration No. 16-02367 (Oct. 25, 2018). According to the claim, a fiduciary duty that was owed to the customer had been breached by Hoffman. The stockbroker’s actions were allegedly violative of Arizona securities law. The claim also alleges that misrepresentations and omissions had been made to the customer and that Hoffman’s negligence caused the customer to incur losses.