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Cheryl Stallings: Former Kestra Advisor Barred by Regulator

Former Kestra Investment Services broker and investment adviser Cheryl Stallings (CRD# 1162913) was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in November 2018 as the result of allegations she failed to disclose her receipt of power of attorney status for one of her customers, causing her former member firm LPL Financial’s inability to properly supervise her activities. She was based in Amarillo, Texas.

The November 2018 disciplinary action against Cheryl Stallings states that while employed as a general securities representative and branch office manager at LPL Financial, she was designated as the transfer-on-death beneficiary of a terminally ill patient’s IRA, with the “authority to write checks and deposit and withdraw money from the account.” According to FINRA, LPL Financial supervisory procedures forbade firm representatives from “taking custody of… money, or other property belonging to others,” and stated that representatives “should not be listed on a (non-family) transfer-on-death account.” Nonetheless, FINRA states that upon the client’s death, “approximately $9,000” passed from his bank account to her. She was later designated as the transfer-on-death beneficiary on another elderly client’s account, and received about $53,000 upon that customer’s death. FINRA notes that neither customer was a family member of Ms. Stallings.

FINRA’s findings state additionally that in 2014, Ms. Stallings “acquired a general power of attorney” over the first customer without requesting prior approval from the firm, despite firm requirements that representatives request and obtain approval to serve as a customer’s power of attorney. FINRA’s findings state additionally that in September and October 2015, Ms. Stallings transferred funds from the second customer’s LPL account to the bank account which had passed to her, although the customer “had designated these brokerage funds to beneficiaries other than Stallings.” FINRA states that Stallings “improperly used these funds” for personal expenses, violating FINRA rules. She also allegedly made false statements to her firm, representing on a request to act as trustee for the second customer that the customer was her aunt, and representing on an annual compliance questionnaire “that she was not a successor trustee or beneficiary of any customer trust,” though at the time she was both trustee and beneficiary of the second customer’s trust. She also allegedly falsely represented on a firm compliance questionnaire that she had not received power of attorney over a firm customer, despite her receipt of power of attorney over the first customer. FINRA found that these alleged misrepresentations constituted violations of FINRA Rule 2010.

As the result of all these alleged activities, Ms. Stallings was indefinitely barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with FINRA broker-dealer firms.

Cheryl Stallings’ employment history includes Kestra Investment Services, LPL Financial, Banc of America Investment Services, and Morgan Stanley DW. In 2017 she was terminated from LPL Financial over allegations she violated firm policies concerning “fiduciary capacities and being a joint owner on two different clients banking accounts.” She has passed six securities industry qualification examinations. (Information current as of August 7, 2019).

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