Florida Broker Barred After Refusing to Cooperate With an Investigation Into Allegations of Improper Borrowing from Senior Investor
Jean Connell Hicks (CRD #1005922) is a former licensed securities broker. From May of 2005 until July of 2020, she served as a representative for Fortune Financial Services, Inc. During this time, she was located at a branch office in St. Petersburg, Florida. Ms. Connell Hicks also has more than two decades of previous experience working at other brokerage firms across the country.
In June of 2020, FINRA initiated an investigation into allegations of broker misconduct. Subsequently, Jean Connell Hicks was terminated by her employer and barred from the securities industry. Here, our Miami investment fraud attorneys provide a more detailed explanation of the allegations raised against the former Florida financial advisor.
FINRA Disciplinary Action: Former Securities Broker Jean Connell Hicks
Background and Allegations
While Jean Connell Hicks was employed as a securities broker for Fortune Financial Services in Florida, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) received a tip through its senior citizen protection hotline.
According to the information received, Ms. Connell Hicks improperly borrowed money from an older customer and subsequently failed to make full on-time repayments in accordance with the terms of the promissory note that was signed by the parties.
Upon receiving the tip, FINRA launched an independent inquiry into the allegations. However, in violation of the professional rules governing the securities industry, Fortune Financial Services did not cooperate with the iniquity.
Violative Conduct: Breach of FINRA Rule 8210
Pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210, registered securities representatives must cooperate into any official investigation into misconduct. In this case, FINRA alleged that Ms. Connell Hicks refused to respond to requests for documents, on-the-record testimony, and other information. Notably, after learning of her failure to cooperate with FINRA’s investigation, Fortune Financial Services terminated Ms. Connell Hicks.
Disciplinary Action: Indefinite Bar From the Securities Industry
FINRA Rule 8210 is one of the regulatory agency’s most powerful tools to protect investors. It gives regulators significant authority to obtain financial records and testimony from brokers and broker-dealers. When financial advisors fail to cooperate with investigations, it makes it far more challenging for investors to get justice. These violations are strictly punished.
Although she did not admit to or deny the allegations, former Florida broker Jean Connell Hicks consented to the agency’s proposed penalties. She accepted an indefinite bar from any association with a FINRA member firm in any professional capacity. Investors who suffered losses can still pursue a legal claim against a broker who has been barred or suspended.
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At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Florida investor losses attorneys provide sophisticated, attentive legal representation to clients. We will get your point across and protect your rights. If you or your elderly loved one suffered losses due to broker misconduct, our attorneys can help. We represent investors in South Florida and in communities beyond.