FINRA suspended Steven Robert Tomlinson and fined him $10,000 for allegedly downloading confidential, personal and non-public information belonging to customers of his prior employing firm. Tomlinson, of Wells Fargo Advisors, was previously associated with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. and El Segundo, California's Walnut Street Securities, Inc.
According to the investigation, Tomlinson specifically took approximately 2,000 customer social security numbers, account numbers, balances and similar confidential information from his old firm via download to a personal flash drive, an action that violated both firms' policies and was effected without customer knowledge, permission or consent. FINRA found that the flash drive itself had minimal security features in place: It was unencrypted and not password-protected.
The findings state that Tomlinson then gave this flash drive to a Wells Fargo secretary and allowed her and others at his new firm unsupervised access to its contents. Unfortunately, the secretary allegedly left the flash drive plugged into a computer in a public reception area for several hours.
Tomlinson admits that, upon hearing of the initial investigation, he attempted to delete the confidential files he had downloaded.
Tomlinson originally received a $10,000 fine and 10-day suspension via a 2013 OHO Hearing Panel Decision, but appealed the ruling. FINRA's National Adjudicatory Council not only held and affirmed the findings, it modified Tomlinson's sanctions, increasing his suspension to 90 days.
If you have invested with Steven Robert Tomlinson or with any financial adviser or broker whose access to your personal information has resulted in financial damages or other inappropriate and illicit activities which have proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.