Kestra Sanctioned For Violating Heightened Supervision Of Broker With 30 Complaints

Alternative Investment Misconduct Lawyers

Tom Abel Puentes of Camarillo California a stockbroker formerly associated with Kestra Investment Services LLC has been fined $12,500.00 supported by allegations that (1) the stockbroker failed to comply with a heightened supervision plan implemented because of his misconduct in the securities industry and (2) Puentes failed to report customer complaints concerning transactions he effected when employed by Kestra Investment Services. Washington Securities Division Consent Order No. S-18-2554-19-C001 (July 2, 2019).

This is not the first time that Puentes has been the subject of a regulatory action based upon accusations of the stockbroker’s misconduct in the securities industry. Particularly, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Public Disclosure reveals that Puentes has been fined $15,000.00 and suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity based upon findings that the stockbroker violated FINRA Rule 2010 and NASD Rule 2510(b) by effecting municipal bonds trades on a discretionary basis when associated with Morgan Stanley; and lying to the securities broker dealer regarding his trading when administered compliance questionnaires. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2014042676301 (Oct. 13, 2016).

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Puentes is referenced in thirty total customer initiated investment related disputes containing allegations of his wrongdoing while associated with securities broker dealers including Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Specifically, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim involving Puentes’ conduct in which the customer requested unspecified damages based upon allegations that when Puentes was associated with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, municipal bond transactions effected in the customer’s account by the stockbroker were not suitable for the customer given the customer’s risk tolerance, investment objectives or overall circumstances. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-00368 (Feb. 4, 2019).

An additional customer filed an investment related complaint concerning Puentes’ activities on February 12, 2019 where the customer sought $617,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that when Puentes was employed by Morgan Stanley, bond purchases had been executed without the customer’s permission; investments were not suitable; and the stockbroker’s activities failed to be adequately supervised by the securities broker dealer.

Also, Kestra Investment Services terminated Puentes’ registration on May 7, 2018 based upon accusations that the stockbroker, inter alia: violated the securities broker dealer’s rules; failed to report or otherwise escalate a customer initiated investment related complaint to the securities broker dealer; and utilized unauthorized communication channels to facilitate investment business.

Puentes’ registration with Kestra Investment Services has been terminated as of May 7, 2018. He has been associated with PeachCap Securities Inc. since September 18, 2018.