FINRA Bars American Portfolios Stockbroker In Investigation

Mark Lewton Hopkins of Grand Blanc Michigan a stockbroker formerly registered with American Portfolios Financial Services Inc. has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that Hopkins failed to comply with a FINRA investigation into allegations of (1) Hopkins taking possession of customer funds without informing American Portfolios Financial Services Inc. about the transaction and (2) Hopkins engaging in outside business activities which had not been fully disclosed by him to the firm. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018060968101 (May 15, 2019).

According to the AWC, Hopkins was terminated by American Portfolios Financial Services Inc. based upon accusations that he did not record a transaction on the firm’s books concerning his acceptance of a customer’s funds; and did not timely update the outside business activities which he participated in. Apparently, after American Portfolios Financial Services Inc. filed the Form U5 reporting those allegations, FINRA commenced an investigation into Hopkins.

The AWC stated that Hopkins was sent a request from FINRA under Rule 8210 mandating Hopkins’ information and documentation for FINRA’s review in regard to the accusations made by American Portfolios Financial Services Inc. Apparently, Hopkins’ information and documentation was expected to be provided to the regulator no later than March 22, 2019. Apparently; however, Hopkins failed to respond.

The AWC revealed that another request was eventually made by FINRA on March 27, 2019, compelling Hopkins’ response under Rule 8210. Evidently, counsel for Hopkins reached out to FINRA personnel on April 18, 2019 – eight days after the information and documents were supposed to be provided – to indicate that Hopkins would not be cooperating in the investigation. Indeed, Hopkins agreed that he was in receipt of FINRA’s requests but would at no point provide the information and documentation. FINRA found Hopkins’ failure to cooperate in FINRA’s investigation to be violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.

FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Hopkins is referenced in two more customer initiated investment related disputes pertaining to allegations of Hopkins’ violative conduct during the time that he was associated with LPL Financial and American Portfolios Financial Services. Specifically, on August 4, 2008, a customer filed an investment related complaint concerning Hopkins’ conduct in which the customer requested $7,125.00 in damages supported by accusations that the customer was sold a real estate investment trust that was not suitable for the customer while Hopkins was associated with LPL Financial.

Moreover, on March 25, 2019, a customer filed an investment related complaint regarding Hopkins’ activities where the customer sought $400,000.00 in damages founded on allegations that Hopkins steered a customer towards investing funds away from American Portfolio Financial Services Inc. where, inter alia: the customer’s assets were transferred to a non-affiliated credit union, the outside entity had no record of an account being set up for the benefit of the customer; and an altered bank check had been presented by Hopkins.

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