Sonn Law Group is investigating claims regarding Anthony Gary Epps (CRD #1030645, White Plains, New York). Epps recently submitted an Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (“AWC”) in which he was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for one year. See FINRA Case #2013036690501. The suspension is in effect from July 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016. Epps has been was associated with NYLIFE Securities, LLC (July 1987-June 2009 and June 2012-June 2013) and its affiliate, NYLIFE Distributors, LLC (September 2009-March 2012).
FINRA found that Epps participated in an undisclosed private securities transaction by investing his personal funds in a privately held start-up company, “NHJ.” FINRA found that Epps also referred at least four potential investors and facilitated their investments in the same privately held company by providing information and responding to questions regarding NHJ to the customers via email and telephone conversations. FINRA also found that Epps participated in meetings between NHJ managers and the customers. In addition, Epps participated in one customer’s investment negotiations and helped the customer decide how to fund their investment in NHJ, according to FINRA.
FINRA further found that Epps willfully failed to timely disclose three unsatisfied tax liens on his Form U4, and made material misrepresentations to NYLIFE by falsely certifying in firm questionnaires that he had complied with his obligation to timely update his Form U4 regarding unsatisfied liens. In entering into the AWC, Epps neither admitted nor denied FINRA’s findings.
FINRA Rule 3280, formerly NASD Rule 3040, provides that a broker may only sell securities with the knowledge and approval of his or her firm. When a broker sells securities without processing the order through the firm and without the firm’s permission or knowledge, this violates FINRA rules and is known as “selling away.” Federal and state law define securities broadly. Therefore, even products such as leasing arrangements or promissory notes, may be securities which require firm approval. Selling away often involves investment securities that are in the form of a private placement or other non-public investment.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, NYLIFE may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Epps’ customers during the time Epps was registered with the firm.
If you were a client of NYLIFE or Epps, and have suffered investment losses or financial irregularities, please contact Sonn Law Group to explore your legal options. Sonn Law Group is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies. To learn more, please call us at 844-689-5754 or complete our “contact form.”