November 26, 2014
It's the day before Thanksgiving and two days before Black Friday, that mother of all shopping days. In the spirit of that warm and fuzzy day when we all surge through the small door at the mall and proceed to elbow, punch, and maim each other as we make the mad dash for the one flatscreen television that is on sale, I offer a mixed-media holiday extravaganza. We start with the tale of the Charles Schwab registered representative entrepreneur who did some shopping on the job but on the side. We end with three versions of that great blues tune by B.B. King, Butterfield Blues Band, and Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green): "I've Got A Mind To Give Up Living And Go Shopping Instead."
Case In Point
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, Jeffrey Brian Grove submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of RE: Jeffrey Brian Grove, Respondent (AWC #20140424977, November 18, 2014).
In 1997, Grove entered the securities industry in 1997 and was first registered in 1999 with FINRA member firm Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., where he remained until his August 29, 2014, termination. The AWC asserts that he had no prior relevant disciplinary history.
The Ol' Procurement System
During 2014, Grove serviced about 250 accounts at Schwab and the AWC alleges that between February and August 2014, he utilized the firm's corporate procurement system to purchase office equipment for his branch office. The AWC asserts that these orders "were automatically approved" by Schwab upon purchase.
It is at this point in the pipeline that the story becomes interesting. You remember that line about how Grove's purchases were "automatically approved?" Well, maybe Schwab needs to re-think that policy. The AWC alleges that Grove removed the purchased equipment from the office and then sold the items to different individuals. You might think that we're talking about a fax machine, a laptop, and a few boxes of pens. In fact, the conversion is breathtaking: Grove converted "approximately $1 million."
Office Supply Channels
According to online FINRA BrokeCheck records as of November 26, 2014, Schwab "Discharged" Grove on August 29, 2014, based upon:
ALLEGATIONS REGARDING MR. GROVE'S PURCHASES OF UNAUTHORIZED OFFICE EQUIPMENT THROUGH THE FIRM'S OFFICE SUPPLY CHANNELS.
FINRA Sanction Channels
In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Grove a Bar from association with any FINRA member firm in any capacity.
Bill Singer's Comment
My research uncovered this additional information. In State of Florida v. Jeffrey Brian Grove (Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit for Orange County Florida, 2014-CF-12158-A-O, August 1, 2014), we learn that Defendant Grove was charged with a
NOTE: Defendant Grove is merely charged with those felonies and, as such, he is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless and until he is convicted in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.
- First Degree Felony of Conspiracy to Traffic In Oxycodone; and
- Third Degree Felony of Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communication Device
And now for some musical entertainment for the holiday:
From the incomparable B. B. King, his 1968 version:
From 1966's "East West" album by the Butterfield Blues Band with Mike Bloomfield's guitar riffs:
Finally, this live 1970 rendition by Fleetwood Mac and Peter Green. Green's solo is still a killer: