Clinton Township, Michigan, based Ameriprise Financial Services broker Paul Demark received a two-month suspension in addition to a $7,500 fine at the hands of the financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
According to the letter of settlement, the FINRA action was initiated on the basis of the U5 filing.
Record of Paul C. Demark
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DeMark is an industry veteran with over 36 years in the industry. He was earlier a broker with Morgan Stanley in Birmingham, Michigan, ever since the time he started in the industry, till March of 2019, when he was permitted to resign, due to “allegations regarding compliance with proper procedures related to a deceased client’s account.”
Morgan Stanley has also flagged off concerns regarding the liquidation of a money market fund in the account of another client and the subsequent transfer of the realized money “without receiving reconfirmation immediately beforehand.”
There is no evidence of a client complaint in the current issue on DeMark’s BrokerCheck record. Only one customer dispute is filed on his record, in 2010, that pertains to the financial meltdown of 2008. Against a customer claim of $800,00 for unsuitable investment advice, the firm had settled for $118.750, without any contribution from DeMark.
DeMark had apparently argued that disbursements from a trust had been authorized by a now-deceased customer, an argument not accepted by FINRA.
48 disbursement forms had been either submitted or caused to be submitted in the name of the deceased trustee or his similarly-named son, as evidence of their having authorized the disbursements. The forms submitted pertained to a period stretching from January 2013 through July 2017.
According to FINRA, the disbursements had actually been authorized by the successor trustee, who was a different person altogether. FINRA also confirmed that the violations were of a procedural nature and that no financial harm had been inflicted on the customer. This was an instance, according to them, of the broker having violated the rules requiring maintenance of accurate records and books, thus coming into conflict with its catch-all Rule 2010 requiring brokers to maintain ‘high standards.’
Neither DeMark nor his Plymouth, Michigan-based lawyer, John A. Hubbard, returned requests for comments. Social media requests sent to DeMark for comments were also not responded to.