Turker Ergun (Ergun) settled charges brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) concerning the sale of private securities and misappropriating customer funds by accepting a bar from the securities industry.
From January 2004 until December 2008, Ergun was associated with WaMu Investments, Inc. From December 2008 through October 2009, Ergun was associated with Banc of America Investment Services, Inc. After Banc of America, Ergun was associated with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. (Merrill Lynch) until September 2012.
Ergun’s public records do not disclose any businesses, other than his previous brokerage employers, that he was involved with. However, in August 2012, Merrill Lynch filed a U-5 termination form reporting that Ergun was discharged following an internal review concerning conduct involving recommending a customer’s purchase of securities not offered by the Merrill Lynch and accepting personal loans from a customer without firm approval.
On March 18, 2013, FINRA sent a letter to Ergun requesting him to appear for an off the record interview at FINRA’s New York offices. On March 26, 2013, Ergun’s attorney notified FINRA that Ergun would not appear for the interview and no make-up interview was rescheduled. Consequently, Ergun was barred from the industry.
The accusations made against Ergun are consistent with a “selling away” securities violation. Selling away occurs when a securities broker solicits securities that are not approved by the broker’s affiliated firm. Selling away is prohibited under FINRA Rule 3040, as well as other securities laws. The most common securities products solicited in selling away schemes are private placements and promissory note.
In the typical selling away investment scheme the investor is not aware that the broker is acting outside of the normal securities channels. The investor is often provided with false account statements or confirmations that contain values that the broker can manipulate and control. In other cases, the broker will have the investor open a self-directed account that helps the broker cloak the illegitimacy of the investment by having a third-party prepare statements and distribute income payments. However, these account statements are also misleading to investors because the broker has complete discretion to stop or alter payments and values.
The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in investigating claims of financial fraud. Our attorneys can help you detect and uncover suspicious activity in your accounts. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.