John Morgan Pickens Jr. (CRD #4316358, Registered Representative, Scott Depot, West Virginia) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. See FINRA Case #2013036045601. Pickens was registered with United Brokerage Services, Inc., (CRD# 39062) in Dunbar, WV, from October 2006 until his termination in February 2013.
Without admitting or denying the findings, Pickens consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he sent letters to customers of United Brokerage Services without the firm’s knowledge or authorization, circumventing its procedures for reviewing and approving outgoing correspondence. FINRA found that the letters made false representations and/or promised unauthorized benefits regarding an investment product that each customer owned, and United Brokerage Services had no knowledge that Pickens had made the representations and did not authorize such. FINRA also found that Pickens forged signatures on some of the letters, including signatures of his manager at the firm and his former colleague at his firm. Pickens also forged the signature of an officer at another company on a letter sent on the individual company’s stationery. FINRA further found that the letter to one customer stated that United Brokerage Services would make specified payments to her with respect to variable annuities she owned. Thereafter, on several occasions without the customer’s knowledge or authorization, Pickens caused a total of about $7,714 to be withdrawn from a money market fund the customer owned and deposited into her variable annuities.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, United Brokerage Services was responsible for properly supervising Pickens’ activities during the time Pickens was registered with the firm. Therefore, United Brokerage Services may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Pickens’ customers.
If you were a client of John Morgan Pickens, Jr., 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.”