Gary Michael Strange (CRD#: 1655033) is a previously registered securities broker. Most recently, Mr. Strange was employed at Cambridge Investment Research (CRD #: 39543), where he worked at an office in Raleigh, North Carolina from 2015 to 2016.
Prior to his time at Cambridge Investment Research, Mr. Strange was employed at Princor Financial Services Corporation (2002-2015), Mony Securities Corporation (1999-2002), and Pruco Securities Corporation (1994-1999).
On February 16th, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) suspended Gary Michael Strange from the securities industry for a period of two years.
The Allegations Against Gary Michael Strange
According to FINRA documents (Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2016050990401), in 2015 Gary Strange borrowed a total of $153,506.57 from two customers, an unnamed husband and wife. Mr. Strange failed to disclose these loans to his member firm; this was a violation of firm rules. In addition, these loans were made after the firm had already launched an investigation into Mr. Strange for his failure to disclose a previous loan that he accepted from a customer.
FINRA reports that, as of early February of 2018, Mr. Strange has still not repaid more than $141,000 in loans to these customers. This conduct is a direct violation of FINRA Rule 3240, which regulates borrowing and lending arrangements between registered securities brokers and their customers.
Unsuitable Investment Recommendations
Beyond the unreported and unrepaid loans, investigators also allege that Mr. Strange made an unsuitable investment recommendation to these customers. According to FINRA, Mr. Strange convinced the couple to fund the loan to him by liquidating a 401(k) plan.
This was an ill-advised strategy, and it resulted in the customer being hit with more than $43,000 of unnecessary taxes and early withdrawal penalties. Without admitting to or denying any wrongdoing, Gary Michael Strange has consented to FINRA’s proposed penalties. Those penalties include:
- A two-year suspension from the securities industry;
- A $20,000 fine; and
- Payment of $130,296 (plus interest) in financial restitution.
Previous Allegations of Misconduct Against Gary Strange
In addition to these most recent charges, there are also other past disclosures on the BrokerCheck report of Gary Strange. In August of 2016, Mr. Strange agreed to pay a customer $55,000 to settle a dispute regarding a previous loan.
In 2015, the State of Maryland alleged that Mr. Strange failed to properly disclosure judgments/liens on his U-4 form. A U-4 form is the standardized application that securities brokers are required to complete and submit to become registered in a specific jurisdiction.
Finally, in 2012, a complaint was raised that Mr. Strange failed to properly disclosure certain issues related to his personal bankruptcy. FINRA requires that all representatives disclose their bankruptcy filings on their U-4 application form.
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