June 14, 2013
What happens when you mix Wall Street and politics, and add to that volatile mix an elderly individual? All that I can tell you is that it's not a pretty sight.
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, Anthony David Brentin, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Anthony David Brentin, Respondent (AWC 2012031369201, June 7, 2013).
Anthony David Brentin entered the securities industry in 2008, when he became associated with PFS Investments, Inc., the broker-dealer affiliate of insurance company Primerica.
The AWC asserts that Brentin had no prior disciplinary history in the securities industry.
From Broker To Candidate
On October 12, 2011, a senior citizen gave Brentin a $5,000 check based upon the apparently false belief that she had contributed to Brentin's election campaign for a seat on the City Council in Woodland, Washington. This contributor had known Brentin and his wife for several years.
At the time of the 2011 Council election, there was a pending court judgment in Cowlitz County, WA, finding Brentin and his wife liable for approximately $4,800 in unpaid rent and utilities for their former residence. On or about October 13, 2011, Brentin used the senior citizen's $5,000 contribution to satisfy the judgment and pay his back rent and utility bills.
From Broker To Defendant
In a criminal Information filed with the Superior Court of Cowlitz County, WA, on January 5, 2012, Brentin was charged with felony Theft in the First Degree based on allegations that he had obtained $5,000 by deceiving and taking advantage of an individual's age and medical condition -- circumstances that deemed her a "vulnerable person" under Washington law.
On February 8,2012, PFS filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration ("Form U5") stating that it had terminated Brentin's employment on February 2, 2012, after it learned from a newspaper article that he had been arrested for fraud in December 2011.
SIDE BAR: Note that the elderly contributor is NOT described as a brokerage customer of Brentin's, and there are no allegations about any fraud involving the stockbroker-customer business relationship.
From Broker To Inmate
After a jury trial, on March 25, 2013, Brentin was convicted and on May 2, 2013, sentenced to six months incarceration.
FINRA asserted that Brentin violated FINRA Rule 2010 and in accordance with the terms of the AWC imposed upon him a Bar from association with any FINRA-registered firm in all capacities.
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