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Ex-Cetera Rep Suspended for Not Disclosing $217K Judgment

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority suspended an ex-Cetera Financial broker from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months because he failed to update his U4 form after a Georgia Superior Court judge ordered him to pay $217,041 owed on a promissory note, according to FINRA.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Zahir H. Kanji signed a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent on Tuesday in which he agreed to the suspension and a $5,000 fine. FINRA accepted the letter Wednesday.

Between October 2005 and May 2019, Kanji was registered as an investment company and variable contracts products representative with Cetera.

The AWC letter did not state why he left Cetera in 2019 and neither does FINRA’s BrokerCheck website. However, it shows he did not join another firm after leaving Cetera and is no longer registered as a broker.

Cetera did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

While associated with Cetera, Kanji executed and delivered a promissory note in the original principal amount of $200,000 with The Bankers Bank (which later changed its name to Silverton Bank) in July 2007, court documents show. In September 2011, PNC Bank division Midland Loan Services, serving as attorney-in-fact for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver of Silverton Bank, sued Kanji in Georgia Superior Court of Cobb County for failure to pay what was owed on the note, according to a complaint on file at the court’s website.

A judgment in the dispute was entered against Kanji by the Superior Court of Cobb County, Georgia, in November 2015. Kanji admitted first learning of the judgment on Feb. 20, 2018, according to FINRA. That was the day that Judge A. Gregory Poole ordered Kanji to pay $217,041.14 to The Cadle Company, which took over as plaintiff in the case, in a final judgment.

“Despite having received notice of the above-referenced judgement on February 20, 2018, Kanji willfully failed to timely amend and willfully failed to correct his Form U4 to disclose the judgment within 30 days of receiving notice of the entry of the judgment,” FINRA said.

“Kanji did not disclose the judgment by amending his Form U4 until March 26, 2019, following an inquiry from Cetera Financial’s internal supervision team,” according to the regulator.

As a result of his actions, Kanji violated FINRA bylaws and FINRA Rule 1122 that prohibits the filing of misleading information and Rule 2010 governing standards of commercial honor and principles of trade, FINRA said.

— Check out Ex-Wells Fargo FiNet Rep Suspended for Altering Docs, Using Private Email on ThinkAdvisor.


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