Oppenheimer & Co. Broker Suspended For Outside Business Activities
Royce O. Simpson, a registered representative with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., was suspended from association with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm in any capacity and faced a $15,000.00 fine after consenting to findings that he engaged in outside business activities without approval of his firm, while also failing to timely respond to FINRA’s requests for information in connection with the investigation into Simpson’s misconduct. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent, No. 2013039492903 (Mar. 11, 2015).
According to the AWC, from May, 2012 – June, 2013, Simpson had engaged in an outside business activity through loaning roughly $70,000 to Continental Africa Resources, LLC, in order to fund a gold mining operation in Ghana, Africa. The AWC indicated that Simpson was loaning the funds based on the expectation of a return on his investment from the profits of the enterprise. Simpson reportedly had asked for Oppenheimer’s approval to invest, but Oppenheimer denied. Notwithstanding Oppenheimer’s denial, Simpson loaned the funds to Continental Africa Resources, LLC, and failed to provide his firm with any notice of his loans. FINRA found Simpsons’ conduct to be in violation of FINRA Rule 2010 and Rule 3270.
According to FINRA Rule 3270, no registered person like Simpson may be an employee, independent contractor, sole proprietor, officer, director or partner of another person, or be compensated, or have the reasonable expectation of compensation, from any other person as a result of any business activity outside the scope of the relationship with his/her member firm, unless he/she is provided prior written notice to the member.
FINRA, on March 13, 2014, and again on April 11, 2014, sent Simpson requests for information and documentation in connection with the investigation into Simpson’s business relationship with officials in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, pursuant to Rule 8210. Although Simpson provided FINRA with information and documentation, it was deemed insufficient to FINRA by only partially satisfying their requests.
The AWC indicated that FINRA ultimately received all their requested information from Simpson after making additional requests. Because Simpson had provided the information and documentation in an untimely manner, FINRA found that he violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010.
Public disclosure records via FINRA’s BrokerCheck reveal that Simpson has been subject to four total disclosure events. On September 23, 1994, Simpson was named in a customer dispute that settled for $1,177,000.00 after a municipality alleged purchases of treasury strips and FHLMC obligations in 1993-1994 exceeded maturity limits imposed by CA law, along with claims of fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary and suitability. On June 20, 2011, Simpson was named in a customer dispute which settled for $659,458.00 after a client alleged overcharges for certain bond transactions. On November 20, 2014, New Mexico’s Securities Division initiated a regulatory action against Simpson (still pending), alleging unsuitable recommendations in long term U.S. agency bonds.
Guiliano Law Group
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