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Thomas Laws: FINRA Bars Former HD Vest Broker

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Silver City, New Mexico broker Thomas Laws (CRD# 4494448) barred him over findings he refused to provide testimony as part of an investigation into allegations he participated in outside business activities. A former representative of HD Vest Investment Services, Laws was indefinitely barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with a broker-dealer firm as a result of these findings.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2019061095601) signed in April 2019, FINRA commenced an investigation in early 2019 into the possibility that Thomas Laws “violated FINRA rules by engaging in undisclosed outside business activities and/or private securities transactions” while he was employed at his former member firm, HD Vest. Pursuant to this investigation, FINRA sent Laws a request on March 26, 2019 for on-the-record testimony. However, according to FINRA, Laws indicated in a March 26, 2019 phone call that he would not appear for such testimony at any time. FINRA’s findings state that this refusal constituted a violation of FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010. FINRA consequently barred him from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Thomas Laws was also the subject of a July 2019 sanction by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the SEC’s complaint, between August 2016 and February 2018 Santa Fe transferred $1.1 million in investors’ funds to Thomas Laws and an entity under his control for “various corporate purposes.” According to the SEC, these purposes included “the purchase of a silver mine, the acquisition of mining claims, the purchase of mining equipment, and… third party services to the company.” The SEC’s findings go on to state that instead of using the funds for these purposes, he misappropriated them and endeavored to conceal this misappropriation “by fabricating documents, including by forging vendor invoices, agreements, bank records, communications, and signatures.” The findings state additionally that due to his misappropriation of the funds, Laws was aware that reports filed periodically with the SEC by Santa Fe “were materially false and misleading.” As a result of these findings, the SEC indefinitely barred Thomas Laws from association with a broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or NRSRO. He was also indefinitely barred from appearing or practicing before the commission as an accountant.

Thomas Laws is not currently registered as a broker. His employment history includes HD Vest Investment Services and NYLife Securities, both in Silver City. He currently holds no state registrations and has passed four securities industry qualification examinations.

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