Tuesday, July 31, 2012
FINRA Expels Day-Trading Firm for Supervisory Violations
FINRA announced that it expelled Biremis, Corp., formerly known as Swift Trade Securities USA, Inc., and barred its President and Chief Executive Officer, Peter Beck, for supervisory violations related to detecting and preventing manipulative trading activities such as "layering," short sale violations, failure to implement an adequate anti-money laundering program, and financial, operational and numerous other securities law violations.
FINRA found that during various periods from June 2007 to June 2010, Biremis and Mr. Beck failed to establish a supervisory system reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the applicable laws and regulations prohibiting manipulative trading activity. Among other things, Biremis' supervisory system failed to include policies and procedures designed to detect and prevent layering on U.S. markets.
FINRA found that despite the fact Biremis' only business was to execute transactions on behalf of day traders around the world, Biremis and Mr. Beck failed to implement an adequate anti-money laundering (AML) program to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act.
Biremis and Mr. Beck also violated a number of additional securities laws and rules. Biremis failed to maintain a margin system and margin accounts, and did not have policies and procedures in place related to the use of margin. The firm also failed to prepare customer reserve computations and failed to maintain a special reserve bank account for the exclusive benefit of customers. In addition, Biremis placed thousands of short sale orders, which was in violation of an emergency order issued by the SEC that temporarily banned short selling in certain securities. Also, between at least April 2008 and May 2009, Biremis improperly calculated its net capital, operating in net capital deficiency by up to $25 million. Additionally, the firm failed to maintain all required emails and instant messages over a five-year period.