FINRA bars Richard Gomez (CRD #4727721, Jackson Heights, New York)
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As reported in InvestmentNews, three Raymond James entities have agreed to pay over $15 million to resolve an investigation by the SEC. The settlement and SEC order focused on Raymond James’s actions in improperly charging certain clients advisory fees when the...read more
Richard Gomez (CRD #4727721, Jackson Heights, New York) April 30, 2018 – A National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) decision became final in which Gomez was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. The NAC modified the sanctions and findings imposed by the Office of Hearing Officers (OHO) decision. The NAC found that Gomez sold securities away from his member firm without providing the firm prior written notice, recommended securities to investors without a reasonable basis as to the suitability of those securities and fraudulently misrepresented material facts to investors. The findings stated that Gomez participated in private securities transactions outside the scope of his employment with his firm. The firm did not permit its brokers to engage in the private sales of securities, and Gomez clearly denied the firm the vital opportunity to approve or disapprove his selling of securities away from it for compensation. The findings also stated that Gomez had no basis, and certainly not an adequate and reasonable basis, for his belief that his recommendations regarding investments in two companies’ securities could be suitable for at least some investors.
Gomez also claimed that he conducted due diligence on one of these companies. Gomez, however, failed to discover significant, adverse public information about the past criminal or fraudulent activities of individuals involved with the company that would have caused any reasonable securities industry professional to question the company’s legitimacy and the authenticity of purported “escrow services” of the company before he recommended the securities. Gomez’s investigation of the other company was similarly flawed. Gomez primarily relied on information provided to him by the company’s founder and other registered representatives who were associates of his. The findings also included that Gomez made material misrepresentations during the offer and sale of the companies’ securities. Gomez failed to make necessary investigations, ignored obvious risks and made his recommendations based primarily on the statements of others, and therefore acted recklessly and with scienter. Gomez’s conduct was an extreme departure from the standard of care for a meaningful investigation, such that he must have been aware that he was putting investors in danger. As a result of his conduct, the NAC, reversing a Hearing Panel’s finding to the contrary, found that Gomez violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5, and FINRA Rule 2020. The NAC imposed a bar for each of the violations in which it found Gomez engaged. (FINRA Case #2011030293503)
If you or someone you know has lost money investing with Richard Gomez call the experienced FINRA arbitration attorneys at Epperson & Greenidge, P.A. at 877-445-9261 for a free consultation. You may be eligible to recoup your losses. Epperson & Greenidge, P.A. accepts all cases on a contingency basis: we only get paid if and when you collect money. Time to file your claim may be limited, so we encourage you to avoid delay. Call 877-445-9261 now to speak to an attorney for free.