FINRA Securities Arbitration Attorney, Russell L. Forkey, Esq.
John Brady Benson Sr. (CRD #18588, Registered Representative, Minneapolis, Minnesota, formerly licensed with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 45 days. The fine must be paid either immediately upon Benson’s reassociation with a FINRA member firm following his suspension, or prior to the filing of any application or request for relief from any statutory disqualification, whichever is earlier. Without admitting or denying the findings, Benson consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he engaged in outside business activity, outside the scope of his employment with his member firm, when he facilitated the sale of his relative’s company to an individual without providing prompt written notice to his firm of the dealings and, as compensation for facilitating the acquisition, accepted a finder’s fee in the form of 50,000 shares of stock in the newly formed corporation. The findings stated that Benson provided the individual with $11,000 to be used to pay expenses of the newly formed corporation, and in exchange, Benson acquired 1.1 million shares of stock in the corporation. The findings also stated that the shares of stock were securities, the transaction was conducted entirely apart from Benson’s employment with his firm, and Benson did not give his firm prior written notice of, and the firm did not give him prior written approval of, the transaction.
The suspension was in effect from April 18, 2011, through June 1, 2011. (FINRA Case #2009019322201