Former Summit Equities Broker, Thomas Stappas, Barred By FINRA For Failing To Provide Documents And Information To FINRA In Connection With Investigation Into Outside Business Activities
Thomas Stappas (CRD # 855198) is a former Financial Advisor at Summit Equities, Inc. in Parisippany, NJ. Thomas Stappas has been in the securities industry since 1978 and previously worked at Cigna Securities, Inc.
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in September 2019, FINRA barred Thomas Stappas from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with a broker-dealer firm for “failing to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into allegations that he engaged in outside business activities, recommended private securities transactions to his member firm customers, neither activity was disclosed to his firm.”
For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/fda_documents/2018059326201%20Thomas%20Stappas%20CRD%20855198%20AWC%20va.pdf.
In July 2018, Summit Equities “discharged” Thomas Stappas in connection with these allegations.
For a copy of Thomas Stappas’ CRD, click https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/855198.
FINRA strictly prohibits financial advisors from “selling away” or selling securities and investments to clients that are not offered by the brokerage firm with which they are employed. For example, it is illegal and a violation of industry rules for a financial advisor to recommend or even suggest that a client invest in the financial advisor’s own business or a business operated by his or her friends or family. It is not necessary that the financial advisor earn any compensation for recommending an outside investment.
The purpose behind this prohibition is to ensure that a financial advisor only offers to sell securities that have been vetted by his or her employer brokerage firm through a rigorous due diligence process. Most brokerage firms have an approved list of investments, products, and research that can be provided or made available to clients. Any deviation by the financial advisor from the approved product list may constitute selling away.
Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.
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