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Matthew Morris: Hopewell, Virginia Financial Advisor Suspended

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Hopewell, Virginia broker and investment advisor Matthew Morris (CRD# 1212333) suspended him over allegations he falsified customer signatures. A representative of SunTrust Investment Services, Morris was suspended for three months and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017053810301) dated July 2018, Matthew Morris was registered with SunTrust Investment Services from September 2014 until March 2017, when the firm reported his termination for violating its code of conduct by falsifying signatures on firm documents. FINRA’s findings state specifically that he “altered over 70 forms by cutting-and-pasting or tracing the signatures of 16 customers” on documents including brokerage account and/or IRA applications; life insurance and/or annuity replacement forms, annuity beneficiary designations, and forms authorizing the transfers of funds. FINRA notes that the transactions underlying these documents were authorized, but the customers did not know he was cutting and pasting or tracing their signatures, and had not given him authorization to do so. FINRA goes on to state that by engaging in such activities with customer signatures and submitting the forms to the firm as originals, he contravened FINRA rules regarding the creation and maintenance of accurate books and records. Finally, according to FINRA, Morris certified erroneously on two firm compliance attestations “that he would refrain from signing a customer’s name [on] any document, when in fact he was actively engaged in such activity.” As a result of the alleged foregoing conduct, Morris was suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

Matthew Morris is currently not registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes SunTrust Investment Services in Hopewell, Virginia; RBC Capital Markets in Richmond, Virginia; Ferris Baker Watts in Washington, DC; Morgan Stanley & Company in Charlottesville, Virginia; Morgan Stanley DW in Charlottesville, Virginia; Alex Brown & Sons; and Merrill Lynch. He currently holds zero state licenses and has passed seven securities industry qualification examinations.

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