The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) said Monday it permanently barred two brokers from working in the securities industry in any capacity ever again after they allegedly ran multi-million-dollar Ponzi schemes that victimized mentally and physically impaired Americans, elderly citizens, church members and family friends.
FINRA said Oren Eugene Sullivan, Jr., of Rock Hill, SC, "misappropriated" $3.7 million over decades from more than 30 clients. The victims, the self-regulatory body said, included 15 widows, two Alzheimer's victims and an individual with developmental impairments. At least eight of the affected clients were more than 80 years old. Many purportedly considered Sullivan a close family friend.
FINRA also barred William Walter Spencer, Sr., of Franklin, TN. Spencer, Finra said, "borrowed" nearly $2 million from elderly members of his church and from customers of his employing broker-dealer, Wiley Bros. — Aintree Capital, LLC.
"The protection of seniors and other vulnerable investors from unscrupulous brokers remains one of FINRA's highest priorities, and we will continue to identify and expel those within our jurisdiction who take unfair advantage of their clients," said Susan L. Merrill, FINRA Executive Vice President and Chief of Enforcement. "The misconduct of these brokers was nothing short of egregious — and their financial exploitation of the elderly, the infirm and people who considered them trusted friends shocks the conscience."
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Two Brokers Barred for Bilking Church Goers, Elderly, Mentally Impaired in Ponzi Schemes