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Ex-Waddell & Reed Rep Failed to Disclose Criminal Charges: FINRA

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined an ex-Waddell & Reed rep $5,000 for failing to notify the firm and amend his Form U4 after he was charged with three crimes, including driving under the influence, according to FINRA.

As a result of his actions, Church violated FINRA Rules 2010 (governing standards of commercial honor and principles of trade) and 1122 (filing of misleading information), according to FINRA.

Without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, John Dewey Church signed a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent Sept. 18 in which he agreed to pay the fine and be suspended for two months from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. FINRA accepted the letter Thursday.

However, Church is no longer an RIA or registered broker, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck website.

“Waddell & Reed has long-established, comprehensive policies and procedures to help ensure that the firm is aware of information that may negatively impact the services provided to clients,” a Waddell & Reed spokesman said Monday. “Shortly after discovering that Mr. Church failed to disclose background information required to be reported pursuant to both FINRA rules and the firm’s policies and procedures, the firm terminated his association with the firm on January 24, 2019, and made the necessary disclosures to FINRA,” he added.

On Jan. 24, 2019, Waddell & Reed filed a Form U5 reporting that Church was terminated as a result of the false compliance certification, the AWC letter stated. Five days later, the firm amended that filing to report its discovery of additional material information Church failed to report, according to the letter.

Church was “terminated for failing to disclose multiple arrests,” according to a disclosure on his BrokerCheck report. However, the report only listed three charges, all dated July 18, 2018, including one DUI count he pleaded guilty to, one count of possession of a Schedule 1 controlled substance he pleaded guilty to but was classified as a first-offender plea, and one count of failure to maintain a lane while driving that was not pursued.

He received three years probation and was required to pay $700 in fines and restitution, according to his detailed BrokerCheck report. Waddell & Reed was not aware of that disposition settling the case, Nov. 6, 2018, when it terminated him, according to BrokerCheck.