Finra Fines Firm Over Misleading Sales Literature
Finra has fined broker-dealer Meyers Associates $700,000 over emails of what it calls misleading sales literature and other infractions, according to a complaint from the industry’s self-regulator. In addition, the regulator barred Bruce Meyers, the firm’s principal at the time of the infractions, from holding any supervisory or principal roles and fined him $75,000, according to the complaint.
Meyers, who’s been in the industry since 1982, founded Meyers Associates in 1994, where he served as its CEO, did investment banking work and was registered as a general securities rep, Finra says. In 2006, Meyers co-founded SignPath Pharma, Inc., a biotech firm, and Meyers Associates began providing investment-banking services for the startup, according to the complaint. From January to June 2011, Meyers allegedly sent out 1,037 emails about SignPath from his Meyers Associates email address, to investors, analysts, hedge funds and service providers, and “hundreds” of those emails allegedly contained “unwarranted and misleading claims” about the biotech firm’s future and failed to identify Meyers’s role at Meyers Associates, Finra says. By 2014, when Finra’s enforcement arm filed a complaint, SignPath had a deficit of more than $13 million, according to the most recent complaint.
The regulator also says the firm maintained inaccurate books and records and failed to supervise their preparation, didn’t report customer complaint information, failed to supervise electronic communications and lacked adequate supervisory controls, according to the complaint.
Meyers Associates, now known as Windsor Street Capital, L.P., had 75 registered reps operating out of 10 offices at the time of Finra’s hearing on the matter, the regulator says. The company terminated its association with Meyers in June 2016 and he is no longer registered with any Finra member firms, according to the complaint. His BrokerCheck profile, meanwhile, has 20 disclosure events, starting with a customer dispute dating back to 1985, now settled.