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Greg Rusnak: FINRA Suspends Former Sigma Advisor; Discretion Allegations

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former St. Charles, Illinois broker and investment advisor Greg Rusnak (CRD# 1505212) suspended him over allegations he improperly exercise discretion in customer accounts. A former representative of Sigma Financial Corporation, Rusnak was suspended for 10 days and fined $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017055797701) dated January 2019, Greg Rusnak exercised discretionary authority in two client accounts when he effected 140 trades “without speaking to the customers on the day of each transaction.” FINRA’s findings go on to state that he did not receive the customers’ prior written authorization for the trades in question, nor the approval of his member firm, Sigma Financial, of the accounts as discretionary. FINRA states further that the firm’s written supervisory procedures during the period in question—March to May 2017—”generally prohibited” firm representatives from making discretionary trades in customer accounts, except under conditions that did not apply to the accounts in question. Rusnak also allegedly made false attestations on firm compliance questionnaires submitted in 2014, 2015, and 2016, stating that he “did not have accounts in which clients had authorized him to exercise discretion,” according to FINRA. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Greg Rusnak was suspended from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity for 15 days. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

Greg Rusnak’s disclosure records also list two customer complaints against him. One such complaint, filed in 2017, alleged that as a representative of Sigma Financial Corporation, he made unsuitable investments contrary to the customers’ objectives; it reached a settlement of $155,000. Another complaint, filed in 2008, alleged that as a representative of Robert W. Baird & Company, he recommended unsuitable investments and charged excessive commissions; the complaint reached a settlement of $50,000.

Greg Rusnak is not currently registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Sigma Financial Corporation in St. Charles, Illinois, Ameriprise Financial Services, Ameriprise Advisor Services, Robert W. Baird & Company, and UBS Painewebber. He currently holds no state licenses and has passed five securities industry qualification examinations.

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