FINRA Sanctions Transamerica Stockbroker For Selling Away

Jose A. Yniguez (also known as Jose S. Yniguez) of Oxnard California a stockbroker formerly registered with Transamerica Financial Advisors has been fined $12,500.00 and suspended for 14 months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity supported by findings that Yniguez engaged in undisclosed private securities transactions and outside business activities while he was associated with Transamerica. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018060543701 (Aug. 25, 2020).

According to the AWC, between March of 2018 and November of 2018, Yniguez was hired as an aid to the founder and chairman of a company which had engaged in a potential cryptocurrency trading exchange. Appointments and meetings had been coordinated by Yniguez. Yniguez handled financial transactions and took part in trade shows. The AWC stated that the company’s correspondence ran through Yniguez. None of those activities that Yniguez engaged in for the benefit of the company and its chairman had been disclosed to Transamerica. The securities broker dealer only permitted stockbrokers to engage in outside business activities when it first provided written approval. Yniguez’s failure to comply with those rules constituted his violation of FINRA Rule 2010 and 3270.

The AWC stated that Yniguez also sold away from Transamerica. Between March of 2018 and November of 2018, 11 investors had been solicited by Yniguez to purchase $99,900.00 worth of investments in the company which he was involved in through the outside business activity. FINRA revealed that eight of those investors held accounts at Transamerica. The customers were told by Yniguez to invest in the company and they were referred by the stockbroker to the company’s personnel. The regulator stated that Yniguez even took possession of investors’ funds and he placed them in the company’s account to facilitate their investment purchases.

Transamerica’s rules at the time forbade stockbrokers from engaging in private securities transactions without first obtaining its written approval. The securities broker dealer specified that the rule applied to referrals and solicitations of private placements or businesses. FINRA found Yniguez’s conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3280.

On November 19, 2018, Yniguez was discharged by Transamerica after the securities broker dealer was informed by Securities and Exchange Commission that its customers were being referred to an outside investment opportunity. Transamerica indicated that Yniguez admitted to making those referrals and engaging in other activities without its authorization.