FINRA Suspends Kirk James Bertsch for Participating in the Unauthorized Sale of Promissory Notes

FINRA Suspends Kirk James Bertsch for Participating in the Unauthorized Sale of Promissory NotesKirk James Bertsch (CRD# 4132889) is a previously registered broker. From 2000 to 2018, Mr. Bertsch worked for Farmers Financial Solutions in Spearfish, South Dakota.

Farmers Financial filed Form U5 in August 2018, terminating Mr. Bertsch’s employment for participating in the purchase and sale of private securities transactions involving unregistered promissory notes without prior notice or approval from the Firm. (Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent No. 2018059666301).

In October 2017, Mr. Bertsch solicited the Woodbridge Group of Companies to buy a $50,000 promissory note, for which Mr. Bertsch received a $1,500 commission. He also personally invested $240,000 in Woodbridge promissory notes.

Mr. Bertsch did not obtain approval or provide notice before engaging in these transactions, violating FINRA Rule 3280 and FINRA Rule 2010. FINRA suspended Mr. Bertsch from the industry for one month and ordered him to pay the $1,500 he received from the unauthorized transaction to FINRA.

This was not the first time Mr. Bertsch received discipline for engaging in outside business activities. In November 2018, the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation fined Mr. Bertsch $5,000 and ordered him to cease and desist offering or selling securities in South Dakota.

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