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Christopher Wendel: Celina, Ohio Financial Advisor Barred

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Celina, Ohio broker Christopher Wendel (CRD# 1930870) barred him over allegations he participated in private securities transactions involving the solicitation of customers to invest in Woodbridge notes. A former representative of SA Stone Wealth Management, Wendel was barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with a broker-dealer firm.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017055476801) dated June 2018, Christopher Wendel was registered with SA Stone Wealth Management from September 2014 until September 2017, when the firm reported his termination over violations of company policies regarding selling away. FINRAs findings state specifically that between April and August 2017, he solicited investors to buy Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Funds promissory notes, selling a total of $343,500 in the “purported real estate investment fund” notes to four customers, receiving commissions in excess of $10,000. FINRA states that he did not provide his member firm with prior notification that he was engaging in these transactions, and that he did not receive its approval. He also allegedly gave FINRA, in January 2018, “a signed declaration falsely stating that his participation” in the sale of such a note happened after he was no longer registered with SA Stone, and provided “false testimony” to the same effect in March 2018. FINRA found these activities to constitute violations of FINRA Rules 3280, 8210, and 2010. As a result of the alleged foregoing conduct, he was barred from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity.

Christopher Wendel’s disclosure records also list five settled or pending customer complaints against him.

A 2018 complaint, for instance, alleged that as a representative of SA Stone Wealth Management, he made an unsuitable investment recommendation and failed in his supervisory duties; the complaint reached a settlement of $67,500.

A 2013 complaint alleged that as a representative of WRP Investments, he recommended unsuitable investments in illiquid real estate investment trusts (REITs) and sold low-cost mutual funds to purchase higher cost mutual funds; the complaint reached a settlement of $90,000.

A 2003 complaint alleged that as a representative of American Express Financial Advisors, he recommended unsuitable investments; the complaint reached a settlement of $200,000.

And a pending 2019 complaint alleges that as a representative of SA Stone Wealth Management, he made unsuitable recommendations and misrepresented material facts regarding a promissory note; the complaint alleges damages of $100,001.

Christopher Wendel is currently not registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes SA Stone Wealth Management in Celina, Ohio; WRP Investments in Celina, Ohio; American Express Financial Advisors in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and IDS Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He currently holds zero state licenses and has passed four securities industry qualification examinations.

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