Rodney Dewayne Welch of Minden, Louisiana, a Stockbroker with State Farm, was permanently barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any and all capacities after consenting to findings that he failed to comply with an investigation into allegations that Welch mishandled a policyholder’s premium payments. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2015044103101 (Oct. 18, 2015).

According to the AWC, on January 19, 2015, Welch was terminated from State Farm amid allegations of sales practice concerns with policyholder premium payments and agent claim handling from January 2013 through December 2014. In August 2015, FINRA investigated claims that Welch had submitted fraudulent insurance claims, diverted funds from a homeowner’s escrow check to an unrelated policyholder’s account, and failed to deposit at least one large customer cash deposit into his State Farm Premium Funds Account.

The AWC stated that on August 19, 2015, FINRA had requested that Welch provide information and documentation in connection with their investigation into Welch’s conduct, pursuant to Rule 8210. The AWC further stated that Welch’s counsel responded to FINRA on August 26, 2015, informing FINRA that Welch had received the Rule 8210 request, but that Welch would not be responding to the requests for information and documentation at any point. FINRA found that Welch had violated Rule 8210 and 2010 for failing to comply with the investigation, leading to his permanent bar.

FINRA Stockbrokers like Welch 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.

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

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.

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