Finra Brings Hammer Down on Two Maryland Brokers
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority came down on two Maryland brokers on Wednesday, barring one ex-SunTrust broker and suspending another current Merrill Lynch advisor, according to separate letters of settlement issued by the regulator.
The regulator levied its harshest punishment on Gregory S. Brent, a former SunTrust Investment Services broker in Silver Springs, Md., who was fired in January for allegations of expense account violations, according to a letter of settlement dated September 20.
Finra barred Brent, a 23-year industry veteran, for not responding to its requests for information about the reasons for his termination from SunTrust. The regulator earlier this week barred a former LPL Financial broker for submitting $16,299 in fraudulent expense reports.
Brent, who could not immediately be reached for comment, settled the charges without admitting or denying the findings. SunTrust fired him on January 11 for claims he “violated policy by submitting expense reimbursements that were not valid expenses,” according to the letter.
The termination does not appear on Brent’s BrokerCheck report. A spokesman for SunTrust did not return a call for comment.
Brent began his career at North American Management in 1993 and worked at a number of firms, including Merrill Lynch, H&R Block Financial Advisors and Wells Fargo Advisors before joining SunTrust in 2009, according to BrokerCheck.
In Baltimore, Finra fined a Merrill Lynch broker $5,000 and suspended him for six months for failing to disclose that he had been indicted on eight felony counts in April 2015, according to a separate letter of settlement accepted and issued on Wednesday.
Evan Foehrkolb, who with Bank of America’s mass-affluent brokerage service, Merrill Edge, wilfully failed to disclose the charges on employment charges as required by firm and Finra rules, Finra said.
The eight felony counts were later dismissed, and Foehrkolb entered an “Alford plea” to a second degree misdemeanor assault charge in November 2015, Finra said.
Foehrkolb has been with Merrill for two years, according to BrokerCheck. He worked for Wachovia for a year in 2008 and was not registered again until he joined Ameriprise in 2013.
Foehrkolb did not return a call for comment. He settled the charges without admitting or denying the findings.
Jeff Kern, a lawyer for Foehrkolb in New York, did not return a call for comment, and a spokesman for Bank of America also did not return a request for comment.