Ethan Binnion is currently not a registered representative of any broker-dealer but was associated with Waddell and Reed. This was after he had been discharged from his previous firm, Edward Jones, on account of “using money from his Business Expense Plan (BEP) … in violation of the terms of the plan,” as per FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) information. This was in June 2020, and a Form U5 had been filed for the same, as per requirements. The alleged business expense impropriety also invited a fine as well as FINRA suspension for Binnion.
Associated with the securities industry since 2005, Binnion had come to be associated with Edward Jones since 2015.
Based on FINRA findings, it appears that Binnion asked for the $941 remaining in his BEP account in December 2019, to be awarded as a bonus to the administrator of his branch office. As per BEP rules, the residual funds in the account at the end of the year would not be carried forward to the next year. Binnion would have been aware of this rule.
The disbursal, apparently, was effected, with a tacit understanding between him and the administrator that the amount would be paid back to him through a check. Upon receiving the bonus from Edward Jones, the administrator did pay ‘back’ the amount to Binnion, as also stated on the Letter of Acceptance (LOA). The money, further, was not used for any authorized business expenses. This was a violation of FINRA rules.
According to FINRA, Binnion, without admitting or denying the findings, agreed to a $5K fine as well as a suspension for 6 months.