Late last week, investment industry regulator FINRA barred Floyd Powell (CRD#: 2220029). Powell allegedly sold close to $3.5 million in promissory notes related to the Woodbridge Group of Companies.
Powell’s sale of the fraudulent notes generated $104,000 in commissions for the broker. Powell was with MSI Financial, formerly known as MetLife Securities Inc. when his fraudulent activity began.
In March of 2017, MSI merged with MML Investor Services, LLC. Powell continued to work for MML until the firm terminated Powell’s employment in February of 2018.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began investigating Woodbridge in 2017 and found it to be a fake real estate investment fund that was a front to a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.
Woodbridge declared bankruptcy in December of 2017 and just weeks later, the SEC charged the company with a massive Ponzi scheme. The majority of the firm’s sales agents were not actually registered with broker-dealers or investment firms. In fact, only a scattered few agents were actually registered at just a handful of firms.
Between July 2016 and December 2017, Powell made unapproved private securities transactions involving Woodbridge notes. He targeted MML and MSI customers and ultimately sold fraudulent notes to 13 investors, 11 of which were customers of the firms. Powell did not seek the required approval of his broker-dealer before selling the securities. This activity is against FINRA rules and resulted in the bar.
Powell did not admit or deny the findings. He has consented to the FINRA sanction and findings that he engaged in unauthorized securities transactions. He can no longer act as a broker or associate with broker-dealer firms.
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