According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Christopher Hellman (Hellman), formerly associated with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Merrill Lynch) in December 2018, was sanctioned and barred from the securities industry by FINRA over accusations of potentially selling unapproved products.
In December 2018 FINRA alleged that Hellman consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to provide FINRA with requested documents and information during its investigation. FINRA found that Merrill Lynch terminated Hellman’s registration for conduct including failure to adhere to firm standards regarding selling away and failure to fully disclose participation in outside business activities.
The providing of loans, misappropriating funds through false pretenses, or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.
At this time it is unclear the nature and scope of Hellman’s activities. Hellman’s disclosures do not include any outside business activities (OBAs) disclosures.