FINRA Suspends Joseph M. Lawrence, III for Unauthorized TradingPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) indicate that broker/advisor Joseph Monroe Lawrence, III (CRD # 5605961), formerly with Birmingham, AL based Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (CRD # 19616) was recently suspended from the securities industry by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement during the course of an investigation into unauthorized trading in a customer account. The Law Office of Kevin J. Deloatch, Esq. is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Lawrence, III.

Registration Background for Joseph M. Lawrence, III

Mr. Lawrence, III became registered in the securities industry with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC in January 2009. He had been with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC up until the time of his termination in December 2018.

FINRA’s Finding and Conclusions

According to FINRA Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) dated December 23, 2019, Mr. Lawrence, III consented to, without either admitting to or denying, the following findings by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement:

  • Mr. Lawrence, III’s father worked as a registered representative for Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC out of the same branch office as Mr. Lawrence, III;
  • Mr. Lawrence, III’s father serviced a client (Customer A) who began taking monthly $6,000.00 distributions from her IRA between 2011 and 2014;
  • Mr. Lawrence, III’s father passed away in 2014, at which time he began servicing Customer A. However, Mr. Lawrence, III failed to ever speak to or otherwise communicate with Customer A;
  • From July 2014 to June 2017 without speaking to Customer A, Mr. Lawrence, III entered 38 sell orders for a money market mutual fund totaling approximately $200,000.00. Mr. Lawrence, III also sold individual equities in the account to fund the distributions. He executed 20 sales in five different equities totaling approximately $70,000.00;
  • Customer A died in April 2018. Three of the equity sales, totaling $17,000.00 occurred after her death. One of the sales occurred after Wells Fargo questioned Mr. Lawrence, III in June 2018 about the lack of documentation of customer authorization;
  • Mr. Lawrence, III earned commissions in the amount of $388.00 in connection with the transactions; and
  • As a result of his actions, Mr. Lawrence, III violated FINRA Rule 2010, which requires associated persons, in the conduct of business, to “observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.”

FINRA Sanctions Joseph M. Lawrence, III

As a result of such violations and in addition to the above described findings and conclusions, FINRA’s December 23, 2019 AWC also indicates that Mr. Lawrence, III consented to the following sanction(s):

  • A suspension from association with any FINRA member firm in any and all capacities for three months;
  • A fine of $5,000.00; and
  • An order to disgorge commissions received, in the total amount of $388.00, plus interest.

If you or someone you know has or had a brokerage account with Mr. Joseph M. Lawrence, III and have concerns regarding losses in your investments or possible fraud, you may be entitled to recover lost funds. The Law Office of Kevin J. Deloatch, Esq. has an extensive securities law practice and over 30 years of experience on Wall Street. Call today at (646) 792-2156 for a free consultation. The time to file your claim may be limited so you should call today to avoid delay.