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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > FINRA

Troubled Atlanta BD Shuts Down

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Atlanta-based broker-dealer IFS Securities is no longer in business, according to its latest regulatory filing.

Records for the midsize firm filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority show the firm filed a termination request last week.

In early August, the BD said it had experienced “substantial losses” from unauthorized bond trades and alerted federal regulators. The losses totaled some $10 million, according to reports at the time. 

The firm fired Keith Wakefield, its head of fixed income, for “fraud” and “placing fictitious trades,” according to FINRA records, which show he was barred from the industry on Sept. 25. 

It also alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA and the FBI about the matter. 

The BD told Bloomberg this summer that it was “unable to make any detailed public comment concerning recent events, given the complexity of the situation and the existence of ongoing investigations that it understands have commenced.”

Other Details

IFS Securities’ FINRA records show it had other troubles.

In June 2019, it reached a $50,000 settlement with the SEC tied to a $6 million municipal bond sale for a public library system in Illinois. It acted as the underwriter and was accused of selling the bonds below market price. 

From August 2016 to February 2018, one of its agents acted as an investment advisor representative in Pennsylvania but was not registered there. The firm agreed to pay a $15,00 fine to settle the matter in October 2018. 

In 2015, it settled charges that it failed to sells bonds for nine corporate clients at fair prices and paid $5,000.  


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