FINRA Bars Citigroup Broker For Failure To Cooperate
Mark Joseph Flanagan of Highland Park Illinois a stockbroker formerly registered with Citigroup Global Markets Inc. has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that Flanagan obstructed a FINRA investigation into his alleged unauthorized and unsuitable transactions. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2017053609902 (Nov. 27, 2018).
According to the AWC, Flanagan became subject of a FINRA investigation following FINRA’s receipt of information from Citigroup Global Markets Inc. in regards in Flanagan’s termination from the firm. The firm apparently informed FINRA that it terminated Flanagan because it lost confidence in Flanagan after the firm’s investigation revealed that Flanagan: became subject of a customer complaint; violated the firm’s customer communication policies; and failed to procure the firm’s approval for documents verifying information regarding a customer’s investment income.
FINRA stated that Flanagan had initially cooperated with FINRA’s investigation; however, his cooperation ceased in November of 2018. Particularly, on October 30, 2018, Flanagan had been sent a Rule 8210 request from FINRA which called upon him to provide recorded testimony for FINRA personnel. The AWC stated that Flanagan corresponded with FINRA personnel on November 5, 2018, confirming that he understood the nature of FINRA’s request and was declining to cooperate in the investigation. FINRA concluded that Flanagan’s failure to testify was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210. FINRA barred Flanagan from the securities industry as a result.
This is not the first time that Flanagan has been sanctioned by regulator for non-compliance. Particularly, on June 1, 2017, he was suspended by FINRA from associating with any member in any capacity founded on accusations that he declined to respond to FINRA’s information request. Letter No. 2017053609201 (June 1, 2017). Thereafter, Flanagan was suspended by FINRA supported by allegations that he failed to pay an arbitration award or otherwise confirm with FINRA that he complied with the award. Case No. 17-01353 (June 7, 2018).
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Flanagan has been identified in five customer initiated investment related disputes containing accusations of his misconduct while employed with Fifth Third Securities, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, and Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
In particular, on May 19, 2008, a customer initiated investment related written complaint was settled for $8,980.52 in damages based upon allegations that the customer incurred shoddy investment performance on preferred stock, municipal debt, corporate debt and asset backed debt investments. On April 29, 2011, another customer filed an investment related complaint concerning Flanagan’s conduct in which the customer sought $22,627.63 in damages founded on accusations that the customer’s account had been negligently managed and inappropriate investment recommendations had been made by Flanagan.
Thereafter, on January 17, 2015, a customer initiated investment related written complaint was resolved for $101,868.00 in damages supported by allegations that unsuitable exchange traded funds had been executed in the customer’s account; transactions were effected without the customer’s permission; and margin was inappropriately utilized to effect securities transactions.
On January 17, 2015, another customer initiated investment related written complaint was settled for $418,972.79 in damages based upon accusations that Flanagan placed the customer in unsuitable options investments; mismarked the customer’s orders as being unsolicited when they were actually solicited by Flanagan; inappropriately used the customer’s margin to produce income; and made false entries on the customer’s new account documentation. Subsequently, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim was resolved for $52,500.00 in damages founded on allegations that Flanagan executed unauthorized, unsuitable and excessive mutual fund and stock trades in the customer’s account. FINRA Arbitration No. 17-01755 (Oct. 18, 2017).
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