Private Placement Fraud and Selling Away FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney, Russell L. Forkey, Esq.

November, 2011:

John Michael Leonard (CRD #2254243, Registered Representative, Chicago, Illinois) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $25,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for two years. The fine must be paid either immediately upon Leonard’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, Leonard consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he recommended and sold private placements to customers for whom such recommendations and transactions were unsuitable because the issuer’s product was inconsistent with their investment objectives, net worth or income. The findings stated that these recommendations were also unsuitable because the issuer’s product created an overconcentration of alternative investments in the customers’ investment accounts.

The suspension is in effect from October 3, 2011, through October 2, 2013. (FINRA Case #2009020217101).