The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says it has barred a former Commonwealth Financial Network broker who was terminated after he was accused of fraudulently using funds from clients’ accounts.
Gerald Allan Eaton submitted a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent to FINRA Nov. 12 in which he agreed to be barred from association with any FINRA member firm in any capacity. He agreed to the letter without admitting or denying the findings. The letter was accepted by FINRA on Wednesday.
Eaton first registered with a FINRA member firm in 1992, when he joined John Hancock, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck website. He was with two divisions of that firm until 1995, when he left to join Commonwealth, the site shows.
From March 1995 through October 2019, Eaton was registered with Commonwealth as an investment company products/variable contracts representative, according to FINRA. Eaton remained registered with Commonwealth until he was terminated by Form U5 filed Nov. 1.
In that form, Commonwealth stated the reason for the termination was that Eaton “fraudulently facilitated distributions from the accounts of clients without their knowledge or consent or for their benefit.”
Commonwealth “recently discovered a matter involving serious misconduct by” Eaton, Jim Adelman, senior vice president and general counsel at Commonwealth, told ThinkAdvisor on Thursday. Commonwealth terminated Eaton’s affiliation with Commonwealth Oct. 28 and “informed law enforcement of his activities,” Adelman said, adding: “We are cooperating with the ongoing investigation and, as such, cannot comment further.”