Merrill Lynch Broker Barred for Stealing
Tammy C. Peterson, a registered representative for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., was permanently barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity after consenting to FINRA findings that Peterson had converted approximately $107,378 from four of her firm’s customers for her own personal benefit and use. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent, No. 20140438720 (Mar. 26, 2015).
According to the AWC, on January 8, 2014, Peterson first stole $46,689 from customer AB without AB’s knowledge and consent by facilitating a wire transfer from AB’s firm account to one of the bank accounts that Peterson was in control of. On February 5, 2014, Peterson stole $5,000 from customer CD without CD’s knowledge or consent by facilitating a transfer from CD’s affiliate account to Peterson’s bank account.
The AWC further noted that on February 7, 2014, Peterson stole $5,000 from customer EF without EF’s consent by facilitating a wire transfer from EF’s affiliate account to Peterson’s bank account. Finally, on March 7, 2014, Peterson stole $48,689 from customer GH without customer GH’s knowledge or consent by facilitating a wire for $46,689 from GH’s firm account to Peterson’s bank account.
The AWC indicated that in all four of the aforementioned cases, Peterson converted funds for her own use and benefit. FINRA found that by making improper use of the customer’s securities or funds, Peterson violated FINRA Rule 2150 as well as Rule 2010 – a rule which requires that a member, in the course of conducting its business, shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.
Public disclosure records reveal that Peterson was subject to a customer dispute on December 17, 2014, in which customer(s) alleged that she misappropriated funds from their account via unauthorized wire transfers in March of 2014. The customers were granted damages in the amount of $95,980.74.
Firms and individuals, not surprisingly, are prohibited from unauthorized use of customer funds, borrowing of a customer’s securities or funds, forgery, non-disclosures or misstatements of material facts, and various deceptions and manipulations. Such conduct can also be found to violate criminal and other civil laws, and be subject to sanction from the federal and state government bodies.
Guiliano Law Group
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