FINRA barred former Financial West Group and Western International Securities broker Efrain Balderrama Trujillo of Southern California for borrowing $335,000 from customers without authorization or permission, after Trujillo failed to pay fines to settle prior disciplinary findings that he failed to adequately supervise Financial West Group representatives who unsuitably recommended and excessively traded options, low-priced securities, and non-traditional exchange traded products (ETPs). The report states the loans Trujillo took out from various Los Angeles-area customers ran afoul of industry rules and that Trujillo used much of the borrowed money for personal expenses and other non-investing purposes.
According to the investigation, Efrain Trujillo (CRD #3106482) signed several promissory notes but failed to provide his customers with the promissory notes or repayment schedules for about half of the notes. The report alleges that Trujillo falsely indicated to FINRA on a compliance questionnaire that he had not received a loan from a customer when, in fact, he had.
Several years earlier, FINRA sanctioned Trujillo for failing to supervise representatives and failing to investigate red flags of potential misconduct, such as excessive trading and unsuitable recommendations relative to options, penny stock, and ETP trading. The report indicated much of this misconduct occurred at Financial West Group's Brentwood office, with violations ranging from short-term trading in customers with long-term investment horizons, excessively risky trading, and holding inverse and leveraged ETFs for too long in customer accounts.
After Trujillo left Financial West Group—and as FINRA investigated Trujillo for the misconduct that occurred at Financial West—Western International Securities opted to hire Trujillo, despite his disclosure from Financial West Group for borrowing money from a customer in contravention of firm rules.
If you invested with ex-Financial West Group or Western International Securities broker Efrain Trujillo or with any investment adviser or financial professional who made unsuitably investment recommendations or entered into a loan with you or issued a promissory note for non-investment related personal reasons in contravention of industry rules, and such borrowing 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.