The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority suspended an ex-LPL Financial broker from association with any FINRA member in any and all capacities for six months for violating FINRA rules by submitting applications for risky real estate investment trusts that inflated the net worth of his elderly clients, according to FINRA.
Without admitting or denying the findings, Donald S. Woods signed a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent April 14 in which he agreed to the suspension and a $10,000 fine. FINRA accepted the letter Wednesday.
LPL did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. Woods became registered as a general securities representative through an association with the firm in July 2010 and remained associated with LPL until it terminated his registration via Form U5, filed Jan. 20, 2017, according to FINRA. The Form U5 stated the reason was a “[b]usiness dispute” with his branch office, FINRA said, quoting LPL.
Woods is not currently registered as a broker or an RIA, according to his profile on FINRA’s BrokerCheck website. There are 12 disclosures cited over the course of his 31-year career, the most recent being a pending customer dispute dated Oct. 1, 2019, in which the claimants requested $140,000 damages, alleging they “desired to purchase low-risk investments, but were encouraged to invest in risky business development companies and REITs through ongoing misrepresentations, which caused them monetary losses.”
The claimants also said LPL “failed to adequately supervise” their representatives. The vast majority of the other disclosures involved claims of unsuitable investments made by Woods on behalf of his clients.