FINRA banished two bank advisors from the industry for trying to cheat their customers.
Stefani Ann Bennett was previously with U.S. Bancorp Investments, where she was employed as a financial specialist. On July 11, 2011, Bennett allegedly withdrew $100,000 from a customers estate checking account at U.S. Bank and used the funds for her own use and benefit without the customers knowledge or consent. According to FINRA, she arranged to have five cashiers checks issued to her personal creditors in the total amount of $97,593 and retained $2,408 in cash.
The other advisor, James D. Smith, formerly a general securities representative with HSBC Securities USA, was banned from the industry for accessing customer data from home after regular business hours for no known business purpose and without management approval, FINRA said. He also allegedly attempted to have the credit cards of five bank customers reissued to a third-party address and succeeded in reissuing one of them. As a result, $2,200 was improperly charged to the bank customers credit card.
Bennett was banned from the industry in February after U.S. Bancorp Investments terminated her employment on Dec. 5, 2013, according to a FINRA settlement letter. Smith was barred in March after his employment with HSBC Bank was terminated on Oct. 31, 2013.
Bennett and Smith neither admitted nor denied the charges but consented to an entry of FINRAs findings. Bennetts lawyer did not return a call or email seeking comment. Smith could not be reached.
Read more: 2 Bank Advisors Banned from the Industry