The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating reports that advisor Nicolas Barrios (Barrios) engaged in undisclosed outside business activities (OBAs) that were not approved by his brokerage firm resulting in potential fraudulent investments. Barrios, formerly registered with UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS) out of Winter Haven, Florida was barred from the financial industry according to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In addition, Barrios disclosed at least four customer complaints and one employment termination for cause.
In April 2019 UBS terminated Barrios for cause alleging that he was discharged after stating during a firm review: (1) he arranged for client to invest away from firm in private company; (2) he personally invested in that company without firm approval; and (3) he used personal email to communicate with client’s family in an attempt to evade firm detection. UBS claims to have subsequently learned that at least seven of Barrios’ clients moved money from UBS accounts to outside bank accounts from which they wrote checks to an entity with which Barrios is affiliated
In June 2019 FINRA found that Barrios consented to the sanctions and findings that he failed to provide FINRA with requested documents and information in connection with FINRA’s investigation into allegations that Barrios mismanaged and committed fraud with respect to a customer’s account. Accordingly, Barrios was automatically barred from the securities industry.
At this time it is unclear what OBA Barrios engaged in that FINRA was investigating. Barrios’s public disclosures state that he was involved in a auto boat broker dealer business. It is unclear if these OBAs were the subject of FINRA’s investigation.