FINRA fined and suspended former Westpark Capital broker and Compliance Officer Nicholas James Tocco for failing to establish and implement an anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program and for additional supervisory failures at Westpark Capital's headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
Investigators found that as AML Compliance Officer, not only did Nicholas Tocco (CRD #5482327) fail to establish and implement an AML compliance program to detect suspicious activity and verification of each firm customer's true identity, Tocco also failed to establish, maintain, and enforce an adequate supervisory system and written procedures beyond the immediate area of anti-money laundering.
FINRA's anti-money laundering rules require broker-dealers to implement AML programs to detect suspicious activity, as well as establish a Customer Identification Program (CIP) using risk-based procedures to verify each customer's true identity.
The industry rule lays out a list of red flags that may indicate a money laundering issue, and requires firms to take steps to detect these red flags in order to report suspicious activity when it occurs. One of these red flags is doubt as to a customer's true identity, as fraud is more likely to occur when a customer's identity is unknown or unclear.
FINRA's report states that Westpark Capital failed to implement a CIP to verify customer identities, including those of at least 20 customers located in China, or what FINRA calls a "high-risk money laundering jurisdiction."
With FINRA finding that Compliance Officer Tocco furthermore failed to establish, maintain, and enforce at Westpark Capital an adequate supervisory system of any kind, these red flags of fraud or other suspicious activity went beyond just money laundering concerns and included any potential suspicious transaction, which may include unsuitable recommendations, excessive transactions, or other harmful misconduct.
According to its BrokerCheck report, Westpark Capital, Inc. is also known as Coast Capital Wealth Management, Quiver Financial, Pacific Crest Financial, Meyers Financial Group, Mason Financial Partners, Harvard Funding Group, Forethought Financial, Dukes Wealth Management, and Diligent Financial Group.
If you invested with Westpark Capital or its former principal broker and compliance officer James Tocco, and suffered damages due to the firm's lack of adequate supervision, 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.