FINRA is rounding up the crooks in the bank channel. The regulatory watchdog recently barred three more bank advisors from the industry, adding to the two it banished in April.
Two of the three brokers recently banned were registered with JP Morgan Securities. Kirk Eric Archibald allegedly created unauthorized bank ATM cards while employed as a personal banker and then used them to make unauthorized transactions that resulted in a loss of $19,150, according to BrokerCheck and a settlement letter that he signed with FINRA.
Michael Linfeng Zheng, the other disgraced advisor from JP Morgan Securities, allegedly took an unattended bank customers debit card and programmed the cards PIN on a coworkers computer. He then used the debit card at a nearby ATM to steal $404 from the customers account.
Ann Maria Ferrao was with HSBC Securities. FINRA permanently barred her from the industry for allegedly misappropriating funds from clients bank accounts for the benefit of other clients and for her own personal benefit, according to the settlement letter she signed.
JP Morgan, which dismissed both Archibald and Zheng, did not return a call seeking comment. And HSBC, which fired Ferrao, declined to comment. Archibald, Zheng and Ferrao could not be reached.
The regulator also suspended an advisor registered with Wayne Hummer Investments, the investments and insurance arm of Wintrust Financial Corp.s wealth management division. Arnold Steven Janickas was suspended for two years for allegedly borrowing a total of $805,000 from a customer to buy and renovate a house. Contrary to FINRA rules and Wayne Hummers written policies and procedures, Janickas accepted four unsecured loans in the amounts of $550,000, $75,000, $100,000, and $80,000, without notifying or obtaining approval from the firm. He repaid $444,882, leaving a loan balance of $360,118, FINRA alleges in its settlement letter with the advisor.
In addition to a two-year suspension, FINRA hit Janickas with a $5,000 deferred fine and ordered him to pay deferred restitution to the customer in the amount of $360,118, plus interest.
FINRA also suspended and fined Nicole Elise Holten, a broker registered with JP Morgan Securities, for engaging in a check kiting scheme. The regulator alleges that she wrote nine checks totaling $3,750 that she knew had insufficient funds to cover them. According to FINRA, Holten wrote the rubber checks from one of the two checking accounts she maintained at JP Morgan Chase. She then deposited the checks into either her savings account or the checking account from which the check was not written. In numerous instances, immediately upon making the deposits, Holten withdrew funds or made expenditures from the accounts, knowing they did not contain sufficient money, according to FINRA.
Under the check kiting scheme, Holten would clear the deficits in her accounts by depositing her paycheck a few days later, FINRA explained in its settlement letter. Holten was suspended for three months and fined $5,000.
Neither Wintrust Financial, which fired Janickas, nor JP Morgan, which terminated Holten, responded to an email seeking comment on the suspensions. Janickas and Holten could not be reached.
Archibald, Zheng, Ferrao, Janickas and Holten neither admitted nor denied the charges but consented to an entry of FINRAs findings.