Diego Fernando Hernandez (Hernandez) was recently barred from the financial industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) concerning allegations that he failed to disclose outside business activities, a practice known in the industry as “selling away” and misused customer funds.
Hernandez entered the securities industry in May 1998. In August 2005, Hernandez became a registered representative of AllState Insurance Company until April 2012. In April 2012, Hernandez became a registered representative of AXA Advisors, LLC (AXA) until February 2013. On Hernandez’s public securities disclosures he is listed as the owner of H.D. Mile High Marketing a marketing, advertising, and banner company located in Lakewood, Colorado. In February 2013, AXA filed a termination notice for Hernandez disclosing that his employment was terminated by the firm for failure to comply with the firm’s policies and FINRA’s rules in connection with undisclosed outside business activity and the commingling and conversion of customer funds.
While Hernandez was associated with AXA, FINRA alleged that he engaged in at least three outside business activities that were not disclosed to or approved by the firm. In March 2012, Hernandez filed articles of organization, forming Wealth Management Partners LLC (Wealth Management Partners) where Hernandez serves as Wealth Management’s president and chief executive officer. In February 2010, Hernandez formed Team Cure Racing as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of Colorado. In November 2009, Hernandez formed DFHR Investments, Inc. (DFHR Investments) under the laws of Colorado. Hernandez is the president of DFHR Investments. Hernandez filed the Wealth Management Partners, Team Cure Racing, and DFHR Investments corporate formation documents before he joined AXA.
While at AXA Hernandez continued to engage in outside business activities with Wealth Management Partners, Team Cure Racing, and DFHR Investments throughout his association with the firm. Under FINRA Rule 3270 registered representatives must disclose outside business activities that the representative is involved in. By failing to disclose his outside business activities, FINRA alleged that Hernandez violated FINRA Rules 3270 and 2010.
FINRA’s investigation also focused on customer allegations that he misappropriated customer funds. There have been at least two customer complaints filed against Hernandez alleging that he had the client make out a check payable to Wealth Management Partners. The customers allege that the investment opportunity solicited by Hernandez may not have been legitimate. Hernandez repeatedly failed to provide FINRA with requested documents and information requested pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210. Consequently, FINRA barred Hernandez from the industry.
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