Securities America Stockbroker Barred For Obstruction
Jaime Michael Westenbarger of Grand Rapids Michigan a stockbroker formerly registered with Securities America Inc. has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity founded on findings that Westenbarger failed to comply with FINRA during an investigation into accusations of him borrowing funds from customers of Securities America. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent No. 2019063681501 (Oct. 8, 2019).
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that on August 14, 2019, Westenbarger was discharged by Securities America Inc. founded on allegations that the securities broker dealer’s policies had been violated by Westenbarger through his unapproved receipt of customer funds through a lending arrangement. This information was disclosed by Securities America to FINRA on September 12, 2019 through a Form U5, which prompted FINRA’s investigation into Westenbarger’s activities.
On August 26, 2019, Westenbarger was sent a letter from FINRA personnel which called upon the stockbroker to produce documentation and information in response to the accusations made by Securities America. Westenbarger was obligated under Rule 8210 to cooperate with FINRA’s request, and he was provided until September 13, 2019 to comply. The AWC stated that a response was provided by Westenbarger but it did not address a number of FINRA’s questions. FINRA stated that on September 30, 2019, a phone call was placed by Westenbarger’s legal counsel to FINRA personnel at which point FINRA learned that the stockbroker would not cooperate any further in the investigation. FINRA determined that FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210 had been violated by Westenbarger through his failure to produce the missing documentation or information.
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Westenbarger is referenced in three customer initiated investment related disputes that concern allegations of his misconduct while employed with OneAmerica Securities Inc., Securities America Inc. and First Allied Securities Inc. Specifically, a customer initiated investment related civil action involving Westenbarger’s conduct that was brought in the Circuit Court of the State of Michigan was resolved for $12,500.00 in damages based upon accusations of Westenbarger selling a bad variable annuity to the customer when he was employed by OneAmerica Securities Inc.
On September 11, 2017, another customer filed an investment related dispute involving Westenbarger’s activities where the customer requested $165,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that during the time that Westenbarger was associated with First Allied Securities Inc., he executed real estate investment trust transactions for the customer’s account which failed to be suitable. Westenbarger is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related complaint on August 1, 2018 in which the customer sought $29,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that the annuity Westenbarger sold while employed by Securities America Inc. failed to be appropriate given the lack of liquidity provided to the customer.