investment fraud

Kerry Dean Wills of Manhattan Beach California a stockbroker currently associated with First Western Securities Inc. has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended for six months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity supported by findings that Wills borrowed from an elderly customer without authorization. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2017056557101 (Jan. 27, 2020).

According to the AWC, during the time that Wills was associated with First Western Securities, its policies disallowed stockbrokers from borrowing from customers of the securities broker dealer. There were no exceptions to this policy. The AWC stated that a customer of First Western Securities met Wills through his financial services arrangement with the customer’s husband. Wills subsequently began providing services to the customer which included real estate maintenance and bill paying.

FINRA stated that after Wills developed a close relationship with the customer, she lent him $150,000.00 which Wills evidenced through a promissory note which called upon him to repay the customer in ten years. Apparently, no more than one payment on the note had been made to the customer by Wills before the customer died. Wills never informed the securities broker about the loan from the customer or otherwise generated its permission. The stockbroker’s conduct was found by FINRA to be violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3240.

Wills has been registered with First Western Securities Inc. since November 24, 2009.

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