The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred an ex-Morgan Stanley broker from association with any FINRA member in any capacity after she refused to cooperate with the regulator’s investigation into allegations that she had altered customer forms after they were signed by clients, according to FINRA.
Without admitting or denying the findings, Ashley K. Martin signed a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent Sunday in which she agreed to FINRA’s sanction. FINRA accepted the letter Monday.
Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. There was no attorney for Martin cited on the letter.
Martin became registered with the regulator as a general securities representative through her association with Morgan Stanley on Oct. 23, 2007, according to the letter. She was with the firm until Sept. 1, 2019.
Morgan Stanley filed a Form U5 termination notice on Sept. 25, 2019, saying Martin was fired over concerns that she “altered forms after they were signed by clients,” according to the FINRA AWC letter.
The actions she allegedly took, however, were “believed to be consistent with the clients’ instructions,” Morgan Stanley said in the statement included in the disclosure on Martin’s profile at FINRA’s BrokerCheck website. It is the only disclosure on her profile.
Martin went on to violate FINRA Rules 8210 (requiring its members to provide information and testimony when requested by the regulator) and 2010 (governing standards of commercial honor and principles of trade) by failing to respond to two FINRA staff requests for information and documents during an investigation into her actions, FINRA said.
On Oct. 21, FINRA sent a request to Martin to provide information and documents by Nov. 4. On Jan. 9, FINRA sent Martin a second request for information and documents, with a deadline of Jan. 23. On Jan. 24, Martin sent an email to FINRA staff acknowledging receipt of the second request and stated that she would not cooperate with FINRA’s investigation, the regulator said.
— Check out FINRA Fines Morgan Stanley $300K for Reporting Violations on ThinkAdvisor.