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Anselmo Contreras: Former Cambridge Investment Research Advisor Barred

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Angleton, Texas broker and investment advisor Anselmo Contreras (CRD# 4095453) barred him over findings he converted and misused customer funds. A former representative of Cambridge Investment Research, Contreras was indefinitely barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with a broker-dealer firm as a result of these findings.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2018057254501) dated April 2019, Anselmo Contreras “induced a customer to give him a $10,000 check” in March 2016 for the purposes of investment in a real estate venture. Instead of using the funds for that purpose, according to FINRA, Contreras instead deposited them into his personal bank account, and proceeded to use them for personal expenses without notifying the customer or receiving the customer’s consent. FINRA’s findings state further that he borrowed $30,000 from two firm customers without the firm’s knowledge or approval.

According to FINRA’s complaint, “conversion” describes the “intentional and unauthorized taking of and/or exercise of ownership over property” by an individual who does not own it and has no entitlement to possess it. Conversion is considered a violation of FINRA Rule 2150(a), which forbids FINRA associated persons from improperly using customer funds, as well as FINRA Rule 2010, which mandates that associated persons abide by “high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.” By inducing an investment in a real estate venture involving the purchase and rehabilitation of a foreclosed home, and instead using the funds for personal ends, FINRA states, Contreras converted the customer’s funds. Despite his later repayment of the funds, according to FINRA, Contreras’ conduct constituted violation of FINRA rules.

FINRA rules also forbid registered individuals from borrowing funds from customers except under certain conditions and in compliance with the procedures of the person’s broker-dealer firm. FINRA’s findings state that when Contreras borrowed $30,000 from a total of two customers in April 2016, used the funds for his personal purposes, and did not repay the customers until August 2018, he failed to seek or obtain approval of the loans from his firm, violating FINRA Rules and firm policies and procedures. As the result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Contreras was barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with a broker-dealer firm.

Anselmo Contreras is not currently registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Cambridge Investment Research in Angleton, Texas, Commonwealth Financial Network, and LPL Financial Corporation. He currently holds no state registrations and has passed four securities industry qualification examinations.

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