The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred former Cetera Advisors broker, Marianne O’Shee Smith, who was accused of converting $45,100 from three senior customers to purchase mutual fund shares for her relative.
According to FINRA, between January 2018 and February 2021, three Cetera Advisors customers gave Smith 10 checks totaling $45,100 made payable to a mutual fund company affiliated with the firm. The customers, all senior citizens, directed Smith to use the checks to fund their mutual fund investments.
FINRA claims that Smith instead used the checks to purchase mutual fund shares for one of her family members without the customer’s knowledge or consent. She reportedly wrote her family member’s mutual fund account number and the fund ticker symbol on the check, which she then sent to the mutual fund company to be credited towards her relative’s account. After discovering Smith’s misconduct, she was involuntarily terminated by Cetera, and the customers were reimbursed in full.
According to her BrokerCheck profile, Smith, who had 34 years of industry experience, spent four years at Cetera Advisors before her termination in June 2021. She was previously affiliated with Investors Capital Corp, First Wall Street, Edward Jones, among others.
According to her settlement letter, Smith accepted FINRA’s industry bar without admitting or denying the allegations.