South Florida FINRA Arbitration Securities Fraud and Mismanagement Attorney, Russell L. Forkey, Esq.
Robert Charles Pollock (CRD #4490116, Registered Representative, Palm Harbor, Florida formerly licensed with Workman Securities Corporation) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was fined $94,650, which includes disgorgement of $34,650 in commissions, suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for one year, and ordered to pay $76,922, plus interest, in restitution to customers. The fine and restitution amounts must be paid either immediately upon Pollock’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, Pollock consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he sold to customers installment plan contracts offered by a non-profit corporation that represented itself to the public as a charitable organization, but Pollock lacked a reasonable basis to recommend the purchase of the contracts to his customers given his failure to perform a reasonable investigation concerning the product. The findings stated that while Pollock reviewed information on the non-profit corporation’s website and spoke to its personnel, he took their representations at face value and failed to independently verify those representations. The findings also stated that Pollock did not contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to confirm the tax-exempt status or the availability of a tax deduction to investors, and did not seek to understand how the non-profit corporation arrived at its figures regarding tax benefits; Pollock also misrepresented to his customers that they could take charitable tax deductions in connection with their respective investments, which was not true. The findings also included that in connection with the solicitation of these installment plan contracts, Pollock provided his customers with illustrations and other sales materials that contained misleading and incomplete information. FINRA found that Pollock failed to provide his member firm with written notice of his participation in the above-referenced transactions or receive its written approval to participate in those transactions, and he did not present the flow chart and 1099 Statement for review to a registered principal of his firm prior to using them in connection with the sales of the installment plan contracts.
The suspension is in effect from December 6, 2010, through December 5, 2011. (FINRA Case #2009019042301).