FINRA fined and suspended broker Michael Milad Tanha, formerly of Merrill Lynch in Beverly Hills, CA, for engaging in undisclosed outside business activities and participating in private securities transactions without providing prior written notice to the firm and after the firm explicitly denied Tanha's proposed involvement in at least one of these activities.
In AWC #2017054650301, investigators wrote that Merill Lynch representative "Mikey" Tanha (CRD #6022108) engaged in five outside business activities without properly notifying Merrill Lynch of these activities, nor associated private securities transactions totaling $500,000 in sales.
The findings state that Tanha co-founded and sat on the board of an entity that used social media to enable clients to communicate with celebrities for a fee. Despite receiving 18% of this entity's stock, he purportedly failed to provide written notice to Merrill Lynch.
When he finally requested permission from Merrill Lynch in December 2015 to engage in activities related to this outside business activity, Merrill Lynch promptly denied the request.
The report states that although Tanha told Merrill Lynch he had resigned from that entity in 2016, he still sat on its board, held its stock, and performed "substantive work."
FINRA found that stockbroker Tanha also solicited securities investments in this same entity from multiple Merrill Lynch customers, effecting $500,000 in sales for the investments in this and another entity Tanha raised capital for, all without providing written notice to Merrill Lynch nor receiving approval from the firm. The illicit investments took the form of stock and convertible debt.
FINRA's report also indicates Tanha sold a life insurance policy and received $40,000 in commissions, referred a friend to a real estate agent and received a $16,000 referral fee, and introduced a sports/entertainment ticket vendor to a music festival entity for which he was paid $12,000.
Merrill Lynch said its broker Tanha didn't provide prior written notice and FINRA agreed, finding that Tanha failed to accurately disclose his outside business activities, private securities transactions, and associated fees.
Tanha's file indicates he previously served as a broker with Northwestern Mutual Investment Services in Las Vegas and that, after his Merrill Lynch termination, joined Boulevard Family Wealth of Beverly Hills in August 2017 and remained there until the Southern California firm permitted him to resign based on allegations of "outside business activity" in March 2018.
In April 2018, The Madera Group of Los Angeles appointed Tanha Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Tocaya Organica in West Hollywood.
If you have invested with former Merrill Lynch broker Michael Milad Tanha or with any financial adviser or registered representative in any stock or security that the broker failed to disclose or gain approval to transact, and this improper outside business activity or unsuitable recommendation to purchase a private securities product sold away from the firm has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call an experienced FINRA arbitration attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.