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FINRA Suspends Fairfield Advisor Denise Sobczak: Forgery Allegations
Kestra Investment Services financial advisor Denise Sobczak (CRD# 3078128) allegedly forged customer signatures, according to a recent Financial Industry Regulatory Authority sanction. FINRA records show that the Fairfield, New Jersey broker and investment advisor was issued a three-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm.
According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2020068283601) issued by FINRA in June 2022, Ms. Sobczak forged a total of 38 firm documents “cutting and pasting customers’ initials and signatures from previous documents onto new documents and by cutting and pasting her branch manager’s signature on firm documents.” The documents in question included ACH setup requests, cash distribution requests, new account forms, ACH setup requests, and other firms, according to FINRA, which states that Ms. Sobczak’s customers “did not give prior permission for the use of their initials or signatures,” although they did authorize the activity on the forms. FINRA’s findings state further that Ms. Sobczak “falsified 34 firm documents by obtaining the customers’ signatures on blank or incomplete documents,” later adding and/or correcting “previously missing or incorrect information without having the customer re-execute the firms.” Again, FINRA notes, while the underlying activities was authorized, she nonetheless “falsified the documents in question.” Finding that her conduct constituted violations of FINRA rules, FINRA issued her a three-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity and fined her $5,000. Her suspension will commence on June 5, 2022 and end on October 4, 2022.
Ms. Sobczak was also sanctioned by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, according to a disclosure on her BrokerCheck report. In January 2021 the Bureau sanctioned her “after a review of [her] disciplinary history,” placing her on a heightened supervision agreement that, among other things, restricted her from acting in a supervisory capacity.
In 2020 Raymond James Financial Services terminated Ms. Sobczak in relation to alleged misconduct. A disclosure on her BrokerCheck report states that she was fired following allegations she violated firm policies by accepting blank signed forms from customers; copying and pasting customer signatures and initials to account documents; and “copying and pasting the Branch Manager’s signature to account documents.”
According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Denise Sobczak holds 23 years of securities industry experience. Based in Fairfield, New Jersey, she has been a broker and investment advisor with Kestra Investment Services since 2020 and 2021, respectively. Her past registrations include Raymond James Financial Services (Fairfield, New Jersey; 2009-2020), Citigroup Global Markets (Wayne, New Jersey; 1999-2009), and Merrill Lynch (New York, New York; 1998-1999). Her credentials include the passage of four securities industry qualifying exams: the General Securities Representative Examination, or Series 7; the Futures Managed Funds Examination, or Series 31; the Securities Industry Essentials Examination, or SIE; and the Uniform Combined State Law Examination, or Series 66. She is licensed in California, Georgia, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas. (Information current as of June 24, 2022.)
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