Merrill Lynch Stockbroker Sanctioned For Unauthorized Activities

Omar Waleed Hammad-Randolph of Boca Raton Florida a stockbroker formerly registered with Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner Smith Incorporated has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended for five months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon findings that Hammad-Randolph borrowed from a customer of the securities broker dealer without permission and had engaged in undisclosed outside business activities. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018060288601 (Aug. 6, 2020).

According to the AWC, Hammad-Randolph procured financing of a home through a $150,000.00 loan that he had obtained by a Merrill Lynch customer. During this period, he was not permitted under Merrill Lynch’s policies to borrow from a customer or lend funds to a customer. The loan provided to Hammad-Randolph was not disclosed by the stockbroker. He never received Merrill Lynch’s permission to possess the customer’s funds. FINRA found that Hammad-Randolph also completed and submitted a questionnaire to Merrill Lynch which falsely reflected that he did not borrow any funds from its customers. Hammad-Randolph’s unapproved customer loan arrangement constituted the violation of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3240.

The regulator also noted that Hammad-Randolph was initially permitted by Merrill Lynch to be a trustee of a trust as long as his activities were limited to managing investments in the accounts owned by the trust held at Merrill Lynch. The AWC stated that Hammad-Randolph acted beyond the scope of his allowable authority with respect to this outside business activity. In 2015, the stockbroker entered into a real estate transaction alongside the trust. Between 2016 and 2018, he established two companies that the trust owned and controlled. The second company employed the stockbroker as its Chief Executive Officer. None of these activities were disclosed to Merrill Lynch by the stockbroker.

Hammad-Randolph was also administered compliance questionnaires in 2017 and 2018 in which he falsely attested to not engaging in unapproved outside business activities. FINRA determined that Hammad-Randolph engaged in undisclosed outside business activities in violation of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3270.

Hammad-Randolph was terminated from Merrill Lynch based upon accusations of his customer loan and his activities as a customer’s power of attorney without the securities broker dealer’s knowledge or consent.