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Julian Munoz: FINRA Suspends Independent Financial Group Broker

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico broker Julian Munoz (CRD# 4773991) was recently sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in connection to allegations he improperly borrowed money from a customer. A representative of Independent Financial Group who was formerly associated with Santander Securities in Guaynabo, Munoz was issued a three-month suspension and a fine of $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2018057416501) dated January 2020, Julian Munoz was associated with Santander Securities as a General Securities Representative from 2007 until February 2014, when the firm disclosed his voluntary resignation, a disclosure it amended in February 2018 to report its “internal investigation into a loan made by Munoz to a firm customer.” FINRA’s findings state that in June 2010, he borrowed a sum of $30,000 from a firm customer who was also his friend. He and his wife executed a promissory note with the customer, in connection with the loan, and this note “did not include interest charges,” according to FINRA. As of the date of the AWC Letter, FINRA states that he had “repaid approximately $10,500” to the lender in connection with the loan. The findings state additionally that the customer “has never been a financial institution in the business of making loans,” and that Munoz did not seek the firm’s prior approval for the loan, nor disclose its receipt to the firm. He also allegedly “falsely stated” on multiple firm compliance questionnaires that he had not borrowed funds from a customer. At the time, FINRA notes, Santander Securities’ written supervisory procedures forbade representatives from taking loans from customers unless the customer is “a financial institution that makes loans in the ordinary course of its business.” FINRA’s findings state that by taking this loan, Munoz violated FINRA Rules 3240 and 2010. FINRA suspended him from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity in three months. It also ordered him to pay a fine of $5,000.

Julian Munoz has been registered with Independent Financial Group in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico since 2014. His previous registrations include Financial Telesis, Santander Securities, and Wachovia Securities. He has passed four securities industry qualifying examinations and his BrokerCheck report lists two state/territory securities licenses. (Information current as of May 20, 2020.)

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