Ex-U.S. Bank broker suspended for alleged undisclosed currency venture
A former U.S. Bank broker was suspended last week for four months and fined $7,500 for allegedly engaging in an outside business venture aimed at facilitating the sale of Iraqi dinar currency, according to his settlement with FINRA.
The regulator claimed that Darrell Pope, an advisor with U.S. Bancorp Investments in Louisville, Kentucky, attempted to secure a buyer for 10 sellers of the currency in anticipation of a finder's fee.
The business was prompted after a bank customer allegedly approached Pope to see if the bank could assist him with selling dinars, a request U.S. Bank denied. Following the bank's refusal, Pope established a company and used his personal email address to communicate with the sellers and potential buyers about the potential terms of a sale, FINRA claimed.
Pope also allegedly conducted due diligence on the potential buyers, prepared transaction-related documentation and made arrangements to facilitate a potential currency sale.
FINRA scolded Pope for failing to secure his firm's prior written approval before engaging in the outside business endeavor, as required. Registered reps must notify their firms of any outside business activity if they receive or anticipate receiving compensation, FINRA said.
Pope did not return voice and email messages seeking comment. His attorney, Randall Strause of Louisville, Kentucky, did not provide comment.
In this settlement with FINRA, Pope neither admitted nor denied the charges but consented to an entry of FINRA's findings.
Pope worked for U.S Bancorp Investments from April 2006 to December 2015, when he was discharged for failing to report outside business activities, according to BrokerCheck records.
“The trust and confidence of our clients is of critical importance to U.S. Bank. After investigating the allegations against this advisor, we quickly moved to end his employment with U.S. Bank," Robin Francis, a spokeswoman for the bank, said in a statement.