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Kevin Hao Jie Zhang: FINRA Suspends Former Pruco Broker

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Dewitt, New York broker Kevin Hao Jie Zhang (CRD# 6297763) suspended him over allegations he took an unapproved loan from a customer in violation of firm policies. A former representative of Pruco Securities, Zhang was suspended for three months and fined $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017056094402) dated March 2019, FINRA launched an investigation into Kevin Hao Jie Zhang’s conduct following an October 2017 disclosure by his former member firm, Pruco Securities, that he had resigned after allegedly taking loans and “accepting money from multiple clients without Firm approval.” FINRA notes that its rules forbid registered persons from borrowing or lending funds from or to their customers except in cases where the firm has written procedures allowing such, and the loan arrangement meets at least one of five circumstances which the rule outlines. FINRA also notes that the registered representative must seek and receive their firm’s written pre-approval even in cases that meet these conditions. According to FINRA, at the time Pruco Securities’ policies forbade its representatives from taking loans from customers unless those customers were immediate family members of the representatives or “a financial institution that regularly extends credit… provided that the loan is made on terms generally available to the public.”

FINRA’s findings state that further that Zhang borrowed a sum of $5,000 “from a sixty-six-year-old Pruco customer who was neither his relative nor a financial institution” in November 2016. FINRA states that he neither sought nor received his member firm’s prior written approval for the loan, and that he did not repay it. FINRA found these actions to violate FINRA Rules 3240 and 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Kevin Hao Jie Zhang was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any and all capacities for three months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

Kevin Hao Jie Zhang is not currently registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Pruco Securities in Dewitt, New York. He currently holds no state registrations and has passed three securities industry qualification examinations.

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