FINRA Catches MML Broker Selling Away Woodbridge Notes

Attorneys for Ponzi Scheme Fraud

Floyd Earl Powell of Albertville Alabama a stockbroker formerly employed by MML Investors Services LLC has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that Powell engaged in private securities transactions while associated with the firm. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018058504901 (Feb. 13, 2019).

According to the AWC, from July of 2016 to December of 2017, during which time Powell was associated with MSI Financial Services Inc. and MML Investors Services LLC, investors were advised by Powell to buy promissory notes pertaining to a real estate investment fund, Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC. Those securities were apparently neither offered by Powell’s employing firms nor approved for brokers to sell to customers of the firms.

The AWC stated that thirteen investors purchased a total of $3,491,707.00 worth of Woodridge notes through Powell. Evidently, eleven of the thirteen customers maintained accounts at MSI Financial Services Inc. and MML investors Services LLC. In return for Powell’s efforts, Powell was reportedly paid $103,598.00. Apparently, a bankruptcy petition had been filed by Woodbridge on December 4, 2017.

During the time that Powell executed the transactions, he was required under his employing brokerage firm policies and FINRA rules to provide the firms with information about his role in any transactions that would be effected outside the firms’ auspices. Nevertheless, Powell took part in those securities transactions without either notifying the firms or procuring the firms’ approval. Consequently, FINRA found Powell’s conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3280.

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Powell has been identified in four customer initiated investment related disputes pertaining to accusations of his misconduct while employed with MSI Financial Services Inc. and MML Investors Services LLC. Particularly, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim involving Powell’s conduct in which the customer requested $135,715.67 in damages based upon allegations that Powell made recommendations for the investors to purchase unregistered, fraudulent promissory notes between January of 2017 and July of 2017. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-01491 (May 17, 2018).

Subsequently, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim concerning Powell’s activities where the customer requested $290,001.00 in damages supported by accusations that securities laws were violated as a result of Powell advising customers to buy investments in July of 2016 that were unregistered and fraudulent. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-02916 (Aug. 27, 2018). Furthermore, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim regarding Powell’s conduct in which the customer requested $3,169,727.00 in damages founded on allegations that while Powell was associated with MML Investors Services LLC and MSI Financial Services Inc., he advised customers to buy fraudulent investments; and made false representations and omissions to the customers in regard to the unregistered securities purchased by them. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-03540 (Oct. 16, 2018).

Subsequently, a customer filed an investment related civil action in the Circuit Court of DeKalb County, Alabama that involved Powell’s activities where the customer requested damages estimated to exceed $5,000.00 based upon accusations of Powell providing bad advice to the customers concerning promissory note transactions. Civil Action No. 28-CV-2018-900308.00 (Dec. 3, 2018).

Powell’s registration with MML Investors Services LLC has been terminated as of February 5, 2018.