Thursday, May 6, 2010
FINRA has ordered Los Angeles-based Westpark Capital, Inc. to pay a total of $400,000 for supervisory system failures and has suspended two officers for failing to supervise brokers in two now-closed Long Island branches who churned customer accounts and engaged in unauthorized and unsuitable trading in multiple accounts. The monetary sanction includes a $100,000 fine and $300,000 in restitution to affected customers.
FINRA suspended Westpark's former Chief Compliance Officer, William A. Morgan, for four months in any principal capacity and ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine. Chief Operations Officer Jason S. Stern has been suspended for three months in any principal capacity and fined $20,000.
In related actions, FINRA has barred and/or fined two brokers and a branch manager who were previously employed in Westpark's Long Island branch offices, and has filed a complaint against another former broker involved in the misconduct, charging him with churning accounts and other violations. Two additional former brokers involved have already been barred, by FINRA or the Securities and Exchange Commission, for misconduct at other firms prior to or after their employment with Westpark.
Several of the brokers involved came to Westpark from broker-dealers that had lengthy disciplinary records and that FINRA has expelled from the securities industry, such as Stratton Oakmont, Inc., LH Ross & Co., Salomon Grey Financial Corp. and Continental Broker-Dealer Corp. When Westpark hired them, several of the brokers themselves had histories that included multiple customer complaints and/or disciplinary actions.