Lucas Swanson (CRD #5141342, Registered Representative, San Francisco, California)
submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 90 days. See FINRA Case #2011029764001. Swanson joined Citigroup Private Bank as a Banker Associate and registered with the bank’s affiliated broker-dealer, Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (“CGMI”), as a General Securities Representative in May 2007. Swanson was registered with CGMI from May 2007 until his termination in October 2011.
Without admitting or denying the findings, Swanson consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he received an email that he thought was from a bank customer requesting the information needed to send a wire transfer from her trust account with a bank to a third party. FINRA found that the request was from an imposter.
Swanson emailed the imposter describing the information needed, and the imposter responded requesting a $40,000 wire transfer to a third party account. Swanson explained in another email that the customer’s father, as trustee of the trust account, needed to send a letter of authorization to initiate the wire transfer. FINRA also found that the imposter emailed Swanson a letter of authorization that appeared to be similar to letters that Swanson previously had received from the customer’s father, including the account number for the trust, and after initially sending an unsigned letter, with a signature that appeared to match the father’s signature in the bank’s files.
Swanson submitted the paperwork to a bank service officer for processing. Swanson then received an email from one of the bank’s service officers stating that the wire had been returned because the account to which it was directed was closed. Swanson relayed this information by email to the customer’s email address, and the imposter provided new wire instructions for a $40,000 wire transfer to a different third party.
FINRA further found that Swanson failed to request a new letter of authorization as required by bank procedures. Instead, Swanson created a new, fake letter of authorization by creating a new document on his computer, formatting it to resemble prior letters received from the father, and then cutting and pasting the father’ signature into the new document. FINRA found that Swanson completed a bank wire transfer form falsely indicating that the customer had made the wire transfer request by telephone and that Swanson had performed the identity verification described in the bank’s procedures. Swanson submitted the transaction form and fake letter of authorization for processing and the transfer of $40,000 went through. The bank later reimbursed the customer.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, CGMI was responsible for properly supervising Swanson’s activities during the time Swanson was registered with the firm. Therefore, CGMI may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Lawrence’s customers.
If you were a client of Lucas Swanson, 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.”