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FINRA Suspends Florida Broker for Undisclosed Outside Business Activities (OBAs)

Ian James Prukner (CRD #5288581) is a previously registered securities broker and previously registered investment adviser (RIA). From March of 2007 to August of 2022, Mr. Prukner was a registered representative of PFS Investments Inc. in Sarasota. Following an investigation, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) suspended this broker for 24 months for engaging in unapproved, undisclosed outside business activities (OBAs). Here, our Miami selling away securities losses lawyer discusses the allegations raised against this broker in more detail.

Suspended Broker: Ian James Prukner Formerly of PFS Investments Inc

 Recently, former Florida-based PFS Investments Inc. representative Ian James Prukner was suspended for two years from the securities industry by FINRA. Regulators determined that Mr. Prukner did not properly notify his member firm about his involvement in an outside business activity (OBA). Mr. Prukner co-owned a company dealing in e-commerce and lead generation. FINRA assessed that this company charged clients—including some of those which were customers of its member firm—significant fees for e-commerce storefronts and digital real estate websites. FINRA determined that Mr. Prukner only received firm approval for the e-commerce part of the business and not the real estate part of the business. The lack of transparency created potential conflicts of interest—especially as the OBA was marketed to the firm’s customers.

 Registered Representatives Must Get OBAs Approved 

FINRA strictly regulated the outside business activities (OBAs) of registered representatives. The regulations are designed to prevent conflicts of interest and ensure that a financial professional’s business engagements do not undermine the interests of their clients. Under FINRA Rule 3270:

  • Brokers must provide written notice to their employing firms before participating in any business activity outside the scope of their relationship with the firm.

The rule aims to enable firms to assess the potential for conflicts of interest and decide whether to permit the activity, restrict it, or require certain controls to mitigate any adverse effects. If a brokerage firm permits OBAs, it becomes responsible for supervising them.

To be clear, FINRAs’ regulation applies to a broad range of outside business activities. Examples include but are not limited to: owning a business, engaging in a consulting role, being a member of a corporate board, and any other commercial activity that could reasonably be expected to influence the broker’s capacity to act in the best interest of their clients.

 Broker Fined and Suspended By FINRA

 Without admitting to or denying any of the specific allegations raised regarding improper, undisclosed and unapproved outside business activities, former PFS Investments Inc. broker Ian James Prukner consented to FINRA’s proposed penalties. To start, FINRA issued a $10,000 fine which has been deferred. In addition, FINRA also suspended Mr. Prukner from the securities industry. The suspension period runs from December of 2023 to December of 2025.

 Contact Our Florida Selling Away Attorney Today

At ​Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Florida securities fraud lawyer has the skills, experience, and legal expertise to handle selling away cases. If you sustained investment losses as a consequence of a broker’s outside business activities, we can help. Contact us at our Miami office today for a completely confidential consultation.


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