FINRA fined and suspended former Questar Capital Corporation (Westminster, CA) and Client One Securities (Garden Grove) broker Tommy Huy Mai for allegedly forging or causing forgery of at least 19 customer signatures, submitting falsified and improper forms, and paying to air an unapproved television program on two Los Angeles-area Vietnamese-language stations that occasionally featured securities-related content that was misleading, promissory, and/or unbalanced.
According to the findings, the 19 forged signatures appeared on various customer account documents, such as Questar Capital new account forms and non-firm insurance applications. Investigators also found that Mai (CRD #6314981) improperly had customers sign incomplete account forms and altered, or caused alteration of, these customer account forms after they had already been signed by the customer, resulting in at least 53 account forms being forged, altered, or otherwise improperly signed.
Mai's BrokerCheck report indicates that Questar Capital permitted him to resign in July 2015 after discovering that client account documents had been altered.
Investigators also cited Mai for inappropriate communications with the public as the result of a television program Mai paid to air on two Los Angeles Vietnamese-language television stations. According to the AWC, Mai failed to obtain Questar's prior approval to broadcast the program, which aired three times weekly and featured Mai in every episode discussing insurance and investment-related topics.
Furthermore, FINRA said that Mai's TV program was "misleading, promissory, and/or unbalanced," and cited as an example Mai's discussion of the benefits of conservative investment programs over bank certificates of deposits (CDs) in which Mai purportedly made the false claim that these conservative investment programs, which Mai identified as mutual fund investments, could double the customer's money without risking principal.
In fact, while CDs are investment products backed by FDIC that do not carry risk up to a certain dollar amount of principal, the report states that Mai's depicted conservative mutual fund investments do carry risks including potential loss of principal and are not guaranteed, which investigators say are disclosures that Mai failed to mention.
Misleading communications—even those in foreign languages—are nothing new to regulators: for instance, FINRA in 2014 fined California-based Integral Financial, LLC and Chief Compliance Officer, owner, founder, and President Weiming "Frank" Ho for an ongoing pattern of non-compliance in Chinese-language advertising across radio, television, and print media.
In 2015, Santa Clara-based Foothill Securities CCO Stephen Guy Shipp received his own sanction for failing to supervise a representative's public appearances on a daily radio and/or television programs, while regulators charged Securities America advisor Barry Graham Armstrong with running a "grossly deceptive" Alzheimer's radio campaign aimed at vulnerable senior citizens.
If you have invested with ex-Questar Capital rep Tommy Huy Mai or with any broker or financial adviser whose forgery, falsification, or alteration of account forms, or whose deceptive and misleading advertisements, such as radio and television communications, has provided you with inaccurate information that has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.