For the purpose of proposing a settlement of rule violations alleged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), without admitting or denying the findings, prior to a regulatory hearing, and without an adjudication of any issue, Javier A. Echeverria submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Javier A. Echeverria, Respondent (AWC 2012034616801, April 11 2013).
Echeverria first became registered in 2008 with FINRA member firm Chase Investment Services Corp. ("CISC") , at which time he was also employed as a personal banker at CISC's affiliate bank, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. ("Chase Bank"). The AWC asserts that Echeverria had no prior disciplinary history in the securities industry.
New Christmas Layaway Club?
From June 19, 2012, to October 10, 2012, Echeverria worked at the Tarrytown, NY Chase Bank branch office. On October 5, 2012, a Chase Bank customer accidentally left her wallet at the branch while conducting banking activities - that same day, a Chase Bank employee found the wallet and turned it in to Echeverria, who placed it in a locked drawer. When no one claimed the lost property by the close of business, Echeverria removed $1,050 from the wallet for his personal use.
On October 6th, the customer arrived at the Tarrytown branch to claim her wallet, only to find that $1,050 was missing. On October 9th, Echeverria gave Chase Bank a $1,050 cashier's check payable to the customer's account. On October 9th (effective the next day), Chase Bank terminated Echeverria.
Separately, the AWC alleges that in the month of October 2010, without any valid business reason and without the customer's or the bank's permission, Echeverria accessed the account information of another Chase Bank customer. Why? Sorry, we're not told. Let's just leave it at the fact that Echeverria apparently stuck his nose into some data file where it shouldn't have been.
According to online FINRA disclosures as of April 18, 2013, on October 10, 2012, JPMCHASE BANK "Discharged" Eceverria based upon these allegations:
TERMINATED BY AFFILIATE BANK - NON SECURITIES RELATED. REGISTERED REP ADMITTED TO REMOVING CASH FROM A WALLET LEFT AT THE BRANCH BY A CUSTOMER. IN ADDITION, REGISTERED REP ACCESSED THE BANK ACCOUNT OF A FAMILY MEMBER WITHOUT A BUSINESS REASON TO DO SO
Although the disclosure made by CISC and as posted online by FINRA clearly asserts that the customer information targeted by Echeverria was that of a "family member," the AWC does not similarly characterize the customer. Frankly, that's an odd discrepancy between the employer's and regulator's disclosures. Not that such a distinction makes the unauthorized intrusion better or worse but it does provide some interesting context. Consequently, it is unclear as to whether this was an omission in the AWC or an erroneous assertion by Chase.
In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Echeverria for violations of FINRA Rule 2010 a Bar from association in any and all capacities with any FINRA-regulated firm.
Bill Singer's Comment
On modern-day Wall Street, there's lots of what they call cross-selling: the guy at the bank is trying to sell you insurance and stocks; the gal at the brokerage firm is trying to get you to buy annuities and open a bank account at the affiliate. Then there's the whole thing with all those confusing job titles. I mean, after all, just what exactly do they mean when they tell us that someone is a "relationship manager?"
So - be careful out there. When you walk by Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, what you see may not always be what you get. There are lots of strings and entanglements. Your stockbroker may be dipping into your bank accounts, and your banker playing around in your brokerage account - and, at times, no one seems to have a clue.
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