Vincent Joseph Storms of Saint Petersburg Florida a broker formerly registered with Raymond James Associates Inc. has been charged by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Department of Enforcement in a Complaint alleging that (1) Storms falsified information to FINRA in regard to his handling of outside business activities supervisory procedures and (2) Storms neglected to timely cooperate with FINRA in its investigation into Storms’ activities. Department of Enforcement v. Vincent Joseph Storms Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2017053982801 (Jan. 31, 2019).

According to the Complaint, during the time that Storms was employed by the firm in a compliance capacity, he was responsible for determining when the firm’s brokers engaged in, among other things, outside business activities. Specifically, the firm provided its registered representatives a questionnaire to complete which probed the registered representatives about any outside business activities that the broker engaged in without the firm’s knowledge.

The Complaint stated that it was necessary for Storms to follow up with brokers depending on their responses to the firm’s compliance questionnaire. Particularly, in the event that a registered representative disclosed a previously undisclosed outside business activity, Storms was tasked with figuring out the type of activity which the representative engaged in; ensuring that the registered representatives appropriately requested permission to engage in those activities; and ensuring that the firm had evidenced a review and approval of the activities.

Allegedly, the firm used a system which notated when Storms’ follow up was required to ascertain more information about the outside business activities. The Complaint stated that Storms took steps to alter the systems so that he would not follow up on registered representatives’ disclosures. Supposedly, sixty audits had been performed by Storms from March of 2016 to November of 2016 where Storms altered data.

Specifically, in regard to one hundred forty five questionnaires completed by representatives of Raymond James Associates, Storms allegedly changed the documents to eliminate any follow up; he also allegedly deleted comments made in regard to the brokers disclosures. Supposedly, a total of five hundred twenty-four answers to questions were impermissibly altered by Storms. FINRA Department of Enforcement alleged that Storms’ false submission of data was violative of FINRA Rules 2010. Moreover, FINRA Department of Enforcement claimed that Storms caused the firm to maintain incorrect records and books; conduct violative of 4511 and 2010.

Moreover, FINRA Department of Enforcement alleged that Storms failed to timely cooperate with its investigation. Particularly, Storms was sent a letter from FINRA on September 19, 2017 which called upon Storms to provide recorded testimony for FINRA personnel under Rule 8210. Storms was expected to cooperate by November 7, 2017.

Allegedly, Storms failed to make an appearance for the recorded testimony despite having confirmed with FINRA personnel on November 1, 2017 that he would attend. The Complaint stated that FINRA again requested for Storms to testify in regard to his activities. Yet, Storms failed to show up for his scheduled December 5, 2017 testimony. FINRA claimed that Storms’ failure to testify based on FINRA’s first two requests hindered its ability to complete an investigation into Storms’ conduct. Consequently, FINRA Department of Enforcement alleged that Storms’ conduct was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.

Storms’ registration with Raymond James Associates has been terminated as of April 20, 2017. Between July 19, 2017 and October 25, 2017, Storms was registered with Ameriprise Financial Services Inc.

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