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Emanuel Avina: FINRA Suspends Avina Financial Advisor Over Alleged Impersonations

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against Whittier, California investment advisor Emanuel Avina (CRD# 5403314) suspended him over allegations he impersonated firm customers. A former representative of Purshe Kaplan Sterling who is currently an advisor with Avina Financial, Avina was fined $7,500 and suspended for 45 days.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017054932701) dated February 2019, Avina impersonated six customers of Ameriprise Financial Services between January 2017 and June 2017 in eight phone calls he made to that firm’s customer services center. FINRA’s findings state that he made the calls following his December 2016 termination from the firm “for a failure to meet performance expectations and production goals.” The purpose of the phone call, according to FINRA, was to liquidate securities, transfer funds, obtain account information, and request copies of checks. FINRA states that he impersonated the customers to complete activities they “authorized and wanted executed,” and that in some cases they had requested the activities to transfer their funds from Ameriprise to his investment advisory business. FINRA’s findings go on to say that some customers knew he was impersonating them, but others did not, and had not authorization such impersonations. FINRA also states that these impersonations constituted violations of FINRA Rule 2010, which requires persons associated with FINRA to “observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.” As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Emanuel Avina was suspended from association with any FINRA member for 45 days. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $7,500.

Emanuel Avina is not currently registered as a broker. He has been registered as an investment advisor with Avina Financial Group in Whittier, California since December 2016. His employment history includes Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments and Ameriprise Financial Services. He currently holds no state licenses and has passed four securities industry qualification examinations.

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