FINRA kicked three more bank reps out of the industry for life.
Anthony Clive Lazarus, a former registered rep with Chase Investment Services Corp., was barred for stealing more than $27,000 from two elderly bank customers, according to a filing FINRA posted Friday.
Lazarus allegedly swiped more than $14,000 from a 90-year-old woman by transferring funds from her savings account to her checking account and then making online bill payments to his credit card account from the customers checking account. In addition, he robbed more than $13,000 from another elderly customer an 86-year-old devising three ways in which to surreptitiously gain access to the victims account. According to the filing, Lazarus obtained a debit card for the customers account and used it to make unauthorized ATM withdrawals totaling more than $9,000. He also made over-the-counter withdrawals of more than $1,000 and transferred more than $3,000 to his own credit card account. The misappropriation of funds occurred between March and December 2011, FINRA said.
Lazarus was registered with Chase Investment Services in Springfield Gardens, N.Y. and worked in the Jamaica, N.Y., branch of Chase Bank as a personal banker. Chase fired Lazarus in January 2012 stating that he admitted using customer funds for his own purposes, according to FINRAs filing.
Lazarus failed to respond to FINRAs complaint served in January 2014. He could not be reached for comment. Lauren Francis, a spokeswoman for Chase Investment Services, declined to comment on the matter.
The second advisor banned from the industry was with Wells Fargo Advisors. Joseph Michael Keegan failed to cooperate with an investigation into whether he had structured cash deposits to evade the reporting requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires that currency transactions of more than $10,000 be reported to the Treasury Department.
Keegan, who was registered with Wells Fargo Advisors in Delran, N.J., was discharged by Wells Fargo in June 2012 for allegedly structuring bank deposits and issuing and using a debit card to make deposits in a bank customers account, according to a document posted on the regulators database late last month.
Both FINRA and Wells Fargo Advisors declined to provide additional details on the matter beyond what was in the regulatory filing. In a footnote, the regulator explained that one common method of structuring involves breaking down a single sum of currency exceeding $10,000 into smaller sums and depositing those smaller sums.
According to FINRA, Keegan failed to respond in a timely and forthright manner to the regulators repeated requests for bank statements and other information, beginning in July 2012, when the FINRA opened the investigation. Keegans refusal to do so significantly hindered FINRAs ability to assess whether, and to what degree, he was personally involved with and/or benefitting from illegal structuring activity, leading the regulator to mete out its harshest sanction, FINRA said.
Keegan could not be reached for comment. Tony Mattera, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo Advisors, declined to comment.
The third bank rep barred from the industry was registered with JP Morgan Securities in Wooster, Ohio, as an investment company products/variable contracts limited representative. Clifford Frank Staley allegedly used customers credit card reward points for his own personal accounts, according to settlement FINRA and Staley reached early this month.
FINRA alleges that Staley transferred customer credit card points to his personal credit card account without their authorization. He then redeemed these points for cash credited to his personal checking account and Chase Bank credit card balance, according to FINRA.
JP Morgan Chase Bank fired Staley in November 2013 after discovering his fraudulent activity and reimbursed the customers, FINRA said.
JP Morgan Chase declined to comment on the matter.
Staley could not be reached, but on his LinkedIn profile, Staley states that hes employed as a branch financial sales consultant at PNC Bank in Canton, Ohio. A spokesman for PNC Bank declined to comment, saying they were not allowed to comment on employment status.
Staley neither admitted nor denied the charges but consented to an entry of FINRAs findings.