FINRA Disciplinary Actions February 2022

Table of Contents

JOSHUA DAVID NICHOLAS (CRD #6529944, STUART, FLORIDA)

January 24, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Nicholas was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Nicholas consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he convinced two clients to enter into a promissory note with his wholly-owned entity to invest in securities on their behalf. Instead of investing the funds as required, Respondent converted $58,000 of the funds to pay for his own personal expenses. The findings stated that Nicholas also fabricated account statements for non-existent accounts, failed to provide his member firm with prior notice about his outside business activities or his note activity with the two clients. (FINRA Case #2020067572701)

MARK SMITH (CRD #5776360, GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLORADO)

January 26, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Smith was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Smith consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to appear for on the record testimony as requested by FINRA. The findings stated that Smith was under investigation regarding claims made in a U5 filed by his former member firm that he was involved in an unauthorized transaction in a client’s personal checking account when he failed to appear. (FINRA Case #2021072110901)

TAREK MOHSEN MOHAMED (CRD #6717691, CLEARWATER, FLORIDA)

January 27, 2022 – An Order Accepting Offer of Settlement was finalized in which Mohamed was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Mohamed accepts the sanction and the entry of findings that he failed to fully respond to FINRA’s requests for documents and information. The findings stated that Mohamed was under investigation regarding a customer complaint that he “took” $46,000 in client funds and deposited them into an account in the name of Mohamed’s company when he failed to appear. (FINRA Case #2020067814802)

FRANCIS CID (CRD #2897738, LITTLE NECK, NEW YORK)

January 28, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Cid was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Cid consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to provide documents and information as requested by FINRA. The findings stated that Cid was under investigation regarding his conduct concerning an entity that he controls and its registration status when he failed to cooperate. (FINRA Case #2021071785501)

DENNIS PHILLIP AYRE (CRD #5365176, BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA)

January 28, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Ayre was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Ayre consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to appear for on the record testimony as requested by FINRA. The findings stated that Ayre was under investigation regarding the suitability of certain investment recommendations Ayre made to customers when he failed to appear. (FINRA Case #2020067277801)

ALON ZAK (CRD #5734529, SHERMAN OAKS, CALIFORNIA)

January 31, 2022 – An OHO decision became final in which Zak was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Zak did not file an Answer to the Notice of Compliant, and was by default found to have falsified and forged life insurance policy applications and failing to provide sworn testimony to FINRA staff. The findings stated that Zak falsified and forged signatures on four life insurance applications and submitted them for processing without the customers’ knowledge or consent, then refused to provide testimony when FINRA chose to investigate customer complaints. (FINRA Case #2020065349803)

STEVEN DOUGLAS SCHISLER (CRD #2367961, GRASSVALLEY, CALIFORNIA)

January , 2022 – An Order Accepting Offer of Settlement was finalized in which Schisler was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Schisler accepts the sanction and the entry of findings that he made unsuitable recommendations to elderly customers, participated in private securities transactions with those customers, lied under oath, entered settlement agreements with prohibited conditions, failed to repay personal loans to customers, and failed to preserve books and records by using unmonitored outside email accounts for securities business. (FINRA Case #2018058718601)

CRAIG STANTON NORTON (CRD #349405, DENVER, COLORADO)

January 31, 2022 – An OHO decision became final in which Norton was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Norton was found to have willfully manipulating the market for a security. The findings stated that Norton manipulated the price of an over-the-counter (“OTC”) microcap security by making a purchase that set an artificially high closing price for NUGN stock on the day of that trade. He then coordinated trading in the stock between and amongst his customers to create the false appearance of active trading at steadily increasing prices. Norton’s manipulative activities generated around $10 million in net sales proceeds and over $400,000 in commissions for himself and a partner. (FINRA Case #2016048837401)

WILLIAM NICHOLAS ATHAS (CRD #3165470, MELVILLE, NEW YORK)

February 7, 2022 – An Order Accepting Offer of Settlement was issued in which Athas was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Under the terms of the offer, Athas has consented, without admitting or denying the allegations of the complaint to the entry of findings and violations consistent with the allegations of the complaint. The findings stated that Athas churned and excessively traded nine accounts of seven different customers between 2014 and 2020. This behavior caused his customers to pay approximately $1.6 million in commissions and other trading costs and to suffer approximately $1.1 million in losses while Athas generated commissions of approximately $1.5 million for himself and his firms. (FINRA Case #2018057883102)

ROBERT JONATHAN SPENCER (CRD #431878, CHEEKTOWAGA, NEW YORK)

February 14, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Spencer was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Spencer consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to provide documents and information as requested by FINRA. The findings stated that Spencer was under investigation regarding his participation in unapproved private securities transactions when he failed to cooperate. (FINRA Case #2020068414601)

DAVID JOSEPH CAMPANELLA (CRD #4801465, CLEVELAND, OHIO)

February 14, 2022 – An AWC was issued in which Campanella was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Campanella consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to provide a complete and accurate response to documents and information as requested by FINRA. The findings stated that Campanella was under investigation regarding allegations that Campanella had undisclosed outside brokerage accounts while associated with his member firm when he failed to cooperate. (FINRA Case #2021071402501)

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