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Ramon Esparza: Edinburg Broker Barred Over Bitcoin Transactions
Ramon Esparza (CRD# 5832979), formerly a broker associated with Mutual of Omaha Investor Services in Edinburgh, Texas, was recently sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in connection to allegations he engaged in unapproved outside business activities. FINRA’s disciplinary action indefinitely barred him from associating with FINRA member firms.
According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2019063532901) dated December 2019, Ramon Esparza was associated with Mutual of Omaha Investor Services as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative from July 2014 until his voluntary resignation in August 2019, following an internal review by the firm concerning allegations he “received cash and transacted business in Bitcoin,” and which FINRA states concluded that he participated in “unapproved outside business activities involving Bitcoin transactions.” After Mutual of Omaha Investors Services filed a disclosure of Esparza’s resignation, and its reasoning, FINRA sent him a request on September 20, 2019 to provide information and documents. He provided some of the requested information and documents on November 1, 2019, according to FINRA, but did not provide all that was requested. As such, FINRA sent him a second request on November 12, 2019, for the information and documents he had not yet provided, as well as more information and documents. FINRA states that he “failed to provide any information or documents by the due date of November 26, 2019.” As such, FINRA sent a third request on December 2, 2019. On December 9, 2019, according to FINRA, Esparza informed FINRA staff in a telephone call that he had received its requests, but that he would not produce any of the request materials “at any time.” FINRA states that this refusal violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, he was barred from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity.
Ramon Esparza is currently not registered as a broker. His previous registrations include Mutual of Omaha Investor Services in Edinburg, Texas. He has passed three securities industry qualifying examinations and his BrokerCheck report lists no state securities licenses. (Information current as of May 6, 2020.)