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Roger Owens: Elkton, Maryland Financial Advisor Suspended

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Elkton, Maryland broker Roger Owens (CRD# 2359204) suspended him over allegations he improperly exercised discretionary authority in customer accounts. A former representative of Cetera Advisors, Owens was suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2018058354501) dated August 2019, Roger Owens was associated with Cetera Advisors when, between November 2015 and October 2017, he solicited investors to purchase promissory notes connected to the Woodbridge Group of Companies, which FINRA describes as a “purported real-estate investment fund” that in December 2017 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and which was ordered along with its owner to disgorge “ill-gotten gains.” According to FINRA’s findings, he sold $1,170,000 in the notes to a total of 14 investors, including four investors of his member firm. He allegedly received commissions of $59,471 as part of these transactions, and himself invested $75,000 in the notes. FINRA’s findings go on to state that despite firm policies and procedures forbidding representatives from participating in private securities transactions without firm, he did not seek or receive firm approval to sell the Woodbridge notes. He also allegedly made false attestations on three annual firm compliance questionnaires stating that he had not participated in unapproved private securities transactions. FINRA found these activities to constitute violations of FINRA Rules 3280 and 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, he was suspended from associating with any FINRA firm in any capacity for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 and disgorgement of the commissions he received through the transactions.

Roger Owens’ disclosure records also list one customer complaint filed against him. Filed in April 2018, the complaint alleged that as a representative of Cetera Advisors and in connection to sales of Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Funds, he violated federal and state securities laws, breached contract, breached his fiduciary duty, committed common law fraud, and engaged in negligence. The complaint reached a settlement in May 2019 of $45,000.

Roger Owens is currently not registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Cetera Advisors in Elkton, Maryland; Legacy Financial Services in Elkton, Maryland; UVEST Financial Services Group in Charlotte, North Carolina; Fortis Investors in Oakdale, Minnesota; and Banner Financial Services Group in Rockville, Maryland. He currently holds zero state licenses and has passed four securities industry qualification examinations.

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