The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred Kitwana Thomas, a former Fidelity Brokerage Services broker, for allegedly cheating the firm out of thousands of dollars related to a reimbursement program sponsored by the firm.
Through a computer equipment purchase assistance program, Fidelity reimbursed its employees up to 20 percent of the purchase price for certain personal computer equipment, up to a maximum reimbursement of $2,000.
According to FINRA, employees submitted their computer equipment purchase receipts through an online third-party administrator, and Fidelity paid the reimbursement amounts to employees in a subsequent pay period. Employees were entitled to reimbursement under the program once every three years.
Thomas allegedly purchased more than $10,000 of computer equipment in August 2016 and received the maximum $2,000 reimbursement from Fidelity.
Between August and November 2016, FINRA claims that three other Fidelity employees provided Thomas with their online login and password information, and on three separate occasions, he allegedly purchased more than $10,000 of computer equipment, accessed their online accounts, and submitted the receipt for reimbursements.
Thomas later cancelled the order or returned the computer equipment, while the three employees each received $2,000 in reimbursement from the program. The employees allegedly paid Thomas a total of $3,700 for the reimbursements.
By converting firm funds, Thomas is accused of violating FINRA Rule 2010 which requires members and associated persons to observe high standards of commercial honor.
After Fidelity launched an investigation into the program, FINRA alleges that Thomas advised one of the employees to lie to investigators by telling them that she was in possession of the computer, when, in fact, Thomas had already returned it.
Thomas first became registered with FINRA as a general securities representative with Fidelity in September 2012 and voluntarily resigned five years later.
Thomas consented to the bar without admitting or denying the allegations.