FINRA Sanctions Allstate Stockbroker For Outside Business Activities

James Ortega of Pompano Beach Florida a stockbroker formerly registered with Allstate Financial Services has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity supported by findings that Ortega engaged in outside business activities. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2019061168602 (Oct. 5, 2020).

According to the AWC, on August 15, 2018, an outside business activity questionnaire had been submitted to the securities broker dealer by Ortega who sought permission to establish and manage a Florida-based corporation called Compare A Quote Corp. The AWC stated that Compare A Quote was set up for purposes of generating business for Allstate and to provide prospective customers with quotes on policies issued by Allstate.

Ortega relayed that he did not receive compensation from this business and that the business had not been monetized yet. The AWC stated that Ortega received approval to engage in the outside business activity on August 20, 2018 for these reasons. Allstate conditioned its authorization on Ortega agreeing not to market to customers who already held accounts with Allstate and agreeing to refrain from using his office space to undertake activities for Compare A Quote. Ortega was also instructed to notify the securities broker dealer about any changes which might affect its approval of his outside business activities.

The AWC stated that from May of 2018 to August of 2018, Ortega’s services through Compare A Quote included his offer of services to other agents through Compare A Quote. This type of conduct was prohibited by the securities broker dealer. The stockbroker violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 3270 in this respect.

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that on April 3, 2019, Ortega was suspended by FINRA founded on accusations of his failure to provide information that had been requested of him by FINRA. Case No. 2019061168601.

Ortega was discharged by Allstate Insurance Company on December 28, 2018 based upon allegations of Ortega’s unauthorized activities including his access to customer data.