PNC Investments Broker Barred Amid Investigation into Stolen Funds
Philip Earl Brunson, a registered representative with PNC Investments and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, was permanently barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm in any capacity after consenting to findings that he failed to cooperate with their investigation in connection with allegations that Brunson converted customer funds. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent, No. 20140435979 (Apr. 15, 2015).
According to the AWC, FINRA, on March 24, 2015, requested that Brunson provide information and documentation in connection with an investigation into allegations that Brunson stole from two of his firm’s customers, pursuant to Rule 8210. The AWC indicated that Brunson had informed FINRA’s staff on March 27, 2015, that he received their requests but would not be cooperating with their investigation.
FINRA registered representatives like Brunson who do not cooperate with FINRA’s investigations often face a permanent bar from practicing in the securities industry as such lack of cooperation violates FINRA’s Rule 8210 – requiring that no member or person shall fail to provide information or testimony or permit an inspection and copying of books, records, or accounts pursuant to the rule. FINRA typically accompanies a Rule 8210 violation with a Rule 2010 violation when individuals, according to FINRA, do not appear to observe high standards for commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.
Public disclosure records via BrokerCheck reveal that Philip E. Brunson has been subject to three disclosure incidents. On November 21, 2014, he was terminated (discharged) by PNC Investments after Brunson admitted to violating the policy at his former firm by accepting cash gifts from clients. On March 12, 2015, Brunson settled a dispute with a client for $43,556.69 after a client alleged that Brunson had misappropriated funds from her investment account.
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.
Securities brokerage firms have a duty to supervise their brokers and the sales practices of their brokers, and to review customer statements for, among other things, evidence of suitability, unauthorized trading, or excessive activity.
Guiliano Law Group
If you have been the victim of securities fraud and you have a complaint, you should consult with an attorney. The practice of Nicholas J. Guiliano, Esquire, and The Guiliano Law Group, P.C., is limited to the representation of investors in claims for fraud in connection with the sale of securities, the sale or recommendation of excessively risky or unsuitable securities, breach of fiduciary duty, and the failure to supervise. We accept representation on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no cost unless we make a recovery for you, and there is never any charge for a consultation or an evaluation of your claim. For more information contact us at (877) SEC-ATTY.