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FINRA Bars Ex-Suffield Rep Walter Allen: Alleged Discretionary Trading

Walter Allen (CRD# 1344149), formerly a representative of Cetera Advisors, has been sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and barred from associating with any FINRA member firm. He was previously registered with Cetera’s office in Suffield, Connecticut. 

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2020066785901) dated August 4, 2021, Walter Allen was affiliated with Cetera Advisors from October 2016 until April 2020, when the firm terminated his registration. In May 2020, Cetera disclosed that his termination was related to allegations he “executed trades in non-discretionary accounts without written client authorization in violation of the firm’s policies and procedures.” FINRA subsequently sent Mr. Allen a request on June, 2021 to provide documents and information regarding its investigation into the matter by July 13, 2021. Instead of providing the documents and information as requested, the Letter states, he indicated to FINRA on June 30,2021 that he would not produce them “at any time.”

FINRA’s findings state that this refusal constituted violations of FINRA Rule 8210, which requires persons under its jurisdiction to provide information and documents when requested, as well as FINRA Rule 2010, which stipulates that FINRA-associated persons must “observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.” FINRA consequently barred Walter Allen from associating with any FINRA member firm in all capacities. 

Walter Allen’s BrokerCheck report additionally discloses his April 27, 2020 terminated from Cetera Advisors over allegations of unauthorized discretionary trading. Years prior to that termination, in 2003, he was “permitted to resign” from Ryan Beck & Company after an internal review into allegations he violated the firm’s conflict of interest policy in connection to “the handling of a client’s account upon death, without appropriate testamentary instructions and documentation.”

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Walter Allen holds 35 years of securities industry experience. He has been barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with any broker-dealer firm. His previous registrations include Cetera Advisors (Suffield, Connecticut; 2016-2020), Investors Capital Corporation (Suffield; 2015-2016), Coburn & Meredith (Simsbury, Connecticut; 2003-2015), Ryan Beck & Company (Florham Park, New Jersey; 2002-2003), Gruntal & Company (New York City; 2001-2002), Tucker Anthony Incorporated (Boston, Massachusetts; 1993-2001), Kidder Peabody & Company (New York City; 1989-1993), and Shearson Lehman Hutton (New York City; 1985-1989). His credentials include the passage of five securities industry qualifying examinations: the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination (Series 65), the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination (Series 63), the Securities Industry Essentials Examination (SIE), the National Commodity Futures Examination (Series 3), and the General Securities Representative Examination (Series 7). Having been barred from association with FINRA member firms, he presently holds no state licenses. (Information accessed on December 17, 2021.)

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