Monday, April 4, 2011
A FINRA hearing panel expelled AIS Financial, Inc., a broker-dealer based in Westlake Village, CA, for failing to implement and enforce an anti-money laundering (AML) program. AIS disregarded its AML responsibilities by ignoring prominent red flags and blatant suspicious activity for an extended period of time for financial gain. The hearing panel found that from November 2005 to December 2007, AIS failed to identify, investigate and report suspicious penny stock activity in three instances. Motivated by commissions the firm received from allowing its customers to liquidate billions of shares of penny stocks from numerous accounts, AIS turned a blind eye to the suspicious activity and concealed the activity from regulatory authorities.