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FINRA suspends ex-Huntington broker for alleged $43K bogus check scheme

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A former Huntington Bank registered rep with an otherwise spotless regulatory record has agreed to a six-month suspension to settle allegations that he wrote and deposited checks without having sufficient funds to cover them, according to his agreement with FINRA.

The regulator accused Jeffrey Robert Conklin of engaging in a pattern of “check kiting” by using his personal line of credit and several checking and savings accounts he had at Huntington.
From August 2016 through November 2016, he allegedly drew eight checks with a total value of $28,725 from his personal line of credit and deposited them into his other accounts at the bank. Each check was later returned for insufficient funds, FINRA claimed.

During that period, he also allegedly drew three checks totaling $14,400 from one bank account and deposited them into another account. All three checks were also returned for insufficient funds, according to FINRA.

“Conklin knew, or was reckless in not knowing, that each of these checks would be dishonored,” FINRA said in the settlement.

Conklin, who could not be reached for comment, repaid all amounts he owed the bank as a result of his check-kiting activity, FINRA said.

In addition to the six-month suspension, Conklin was fined $5,000. He agreed to the sanctions without admitting or denying the allegations.

Conklin worked for Huntington in Cleveland from January 2009 to November 2016 when he was discharged for the alleged activity in his personal and business accounts, according to BrokerCheck records.

Emily Smith, a spokeswoman for Huntington, had no comment other than to say that Conklin had left the bank.

Conklin joins at least one other bank rep sanctioned by FINRA over the last 18 months for alleged check-kiting. Todd Schoenwalder, a former broker with J.P. Morgan Securities in Milwaukee, was suspended for 15 months and fined $15,000 last April for allegedly depositing 11 checks totaling $171,700 into his checking accounts, knowing that the checks did not have sufficient funds to cover them.

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