Stephen Whittaker Cited for Undisclosed Outside Business Activity

Attorney Advising Disclaimer

FINRA fined and suspended former First Financial Equity Corporation (Surprise, Arizona) broker Stephen Leroy Whittaker for the undisclosed outside business activity of tax preparation services. First Financial (aka FFEC) terminated Whittaker for the same in 2019.

Years earlier, a customer filed a complaint against Whittaker for allegedly failing to inform her of potential tax liability when liquidating an annuity.

In AWC #2019062207301, FINRA wrote that the undisclosed outside business activity occurred in 2018 and 2019 while FFEC in its discharge disclosure noted that Whittaker offered tax preparation services (for compensation) without disclosing this activity to the firm.

A customer dispute filed in 2019 against Whittaker alleged damages from unauthorized trades and suitability and ultimately settled for $40,110.

Oddly enough for broker Whittaker, whose 2019 termination from FFEC involved undisclosed tax planning services, a 2013 customer dispute since closed featured allegations that a customer was not told of potential tax liability when liquidating an annuity.

Whittaker's firm at the time, Morgan Stanley of Surprise, AZ, permitted Whittaker to resign after allegations of "financial advisor's potential involvement in unapproved outside business activities."

If you have invested with former First Financial Equity Corp (FFEC) broker Stephen Leroy Whittaker of Arizona or with any broker or financial adviser who offered undisclosed tax preparation services or other unauthorized business activities outside the scope of their employment with a brokerage firm, and this undisclosed activity has proven harmful to your investments or interests—for instance through exposure to potential tax liability when liquidating an investment asset—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.

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