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FINRA Bars Ex-Morgan Stanley Rep for Not Cooperating With Inquiry

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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 her termination from her former firm, according to FINRA.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Peggy Jean Doherty-Punderson signed a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent April 3 in which she agreed to FINRA’s sanction. FINRA accepted the letter Monday.

Morgan Stanley and Jon-Jorge Aras of law firm Levan Legal, who represented Doherty-Punderson in the dispute, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

From May 2013 until September 2019, Doherty-Punderson was registered as a general securities representative through an association with Morgan Stanley. On Sept. 5, 2019, Morgan Stanley filed a Uniform Termination Notice stating that she had been discharged while an internal review was pending regarding a mortgage deed executed by her and a customer of hers, according to the FINRA AWC letter. No additional details of the deed execution were provided.

Doherty-Punderson then refused to provide information and documents that were requested of her by FINRA as it investigated her termination from Morgan Stanley, the regulator said. On Feb. 25, FINRA staff sent a request to her for the production of information and documents, it said. However, as stated during her counsel’s phone call with FINRA staff March 4, Doherty-Punderson acknowledged that she received FINRA’s request and would not produce the information or documents requested.

By refusing to produce the information or documents as requested, Doherty-Punderson violated FINRA Rules 8210 (governing the provision of information and testimony) and 2010 (governing standards of commercial honor and principles of trade), FINRA said.

Doherty-Punderson was no longer registered as a broker as of Tuesday, according to her profile on FINRA’s BrokerCheck website, which included no disclosures over the course of her 32 years in the industry.

Separately, FINRA also barred an ex-Janney Montgomery Scott broker from association with any FINRA member in any capacity after he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony related to a FINRA investigation into whether he made unsuitable investment recommendations, according to the regulator.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Charles J. Euler Jr. signed a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent March 27 in which he agreed to FINRA’s sanction. FINRA accepted the letter Monday.

“Euler resigned from Janney in 2018,” company spokesman Bradd DelMuto told ThinkAdvisor Tuesday, adding: “We have no further comment on the matter.” Samuel E. Cohen of law firm Marshall Dennehey, who represented Euler in the dispute, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

From December 1984 through April 2018, Euler was registered as a general securities representative, general securities principal, and financial and operations principal through an association with Janney Montgomery Scott. On April 30, 2018, the firm filed a Uniform Termination Notice, disclosing that Euler voluntarily terminated his registrations with the firm, according to the FINRA AWC letter.

On March 12, FINRA staff sent a request to Euler for on-the-record testimony. However, as stated in Euler’s counsel’s email to FINRA staff March 13, Euler acknowledged that he received FINRA’s request and would not appear for on-the-record testimony at any time. With his actions, Euler violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010, FINRA said.

Euler was no longer registered as a broker as of Tuesday, according to his profile on FINRA’s BrokerCheck website, which included seven disclosures over the course of his 47 years in the industry. All of the disclosures were customer disputes, six of which involved claims of unsuitable investments that were settled.