FINRA sanctions advisor for alleged sale of unregistered securities
An advisor with independent RIA firm Stratos Wealth Partners was suspended for four months and fined $10,000 for allegedly selling unregistered securities while employed as a broker at J.P. Morgan Securities, according to his settlement with FINRA.
Ryan Nicholas Paugh reportedly sold $48,500 worth of securities in a company purported to be a wholesaler of computer products, FINRA claimed in the settlement. He reportedly sold the securities, which FINRA said bore high rates of interest, to five individuals, two of whom were J.P. Morgan customers. He participated in sales of the offering between December 2012 and November 2013 without disclosing the transactions as required to his firm, according to FINRA.
FINRA chided him for lying about his involvement in private securities transactions on his firm's annual compliance certifications.
Paugh did not return a voice message left at Stratos Wealth Partners, where he works. His attorney, Scott Matasar of Ohio law firm Matasar Jacobs, did not respond to an email seeking comment.
In his settlement with FINRA, Paugh neither admitted nor denied the allegations.
Paugh worked for J.P. Morgan Securities in Independence, Ohio, from October 2012 to August 2015, when he was discharged for personally investing in – and soliciting investments for – an unapproved outside business activity, according to his BrokerCheck report.
He has been with Stratos Wealth Partners in Beachwood, Ohio, since September 2015, BrokerCheck records show. His suspension, which started Oct. 2, does not impact his employment with Stratos Wealth Partners since the firm is regulated by the SEC, not FINRA.
Elizabeth Seymour, a spokeswoman for J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, declined to comment on the matter.