The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined and suspended Jaime Sanchez Rivera, a former broker at First Southern Securities LLC and its affiliate First Southern LLC, for falsifying two business documents and forging a third-party’s signature.
According to a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent issued by FINRA, in 2019, one of Rivera’s customers was required by court order in a divorce proceeding to document his assets. These assets included a $206,500 debt that Rivera owed the customer for consulting services rendered in 2012.
FINRA claims that Rivera was embarrassed that he still had not paid his customer for these services and did not want to document his outstanding debt. Accordingly, rather than provide the customer with evidence of this debt, he allegedly falsified a document to show that his customer possessed an asset valued at $206,500.
Rivera is also accused of modifying a term sheet of a real estate transaction involving the purchase of senior living housing units by a limited liability company to falsely show that the customer owned an interest valued at $206,500. FINRA claims that he forged the signature of the LLC’s managing partner on the document.
In May 2020, the customer provided the falsified term sheet to First Southern Securities in connection with questions he had about the status of his account. The firm questioned Rivera, who admitted that he had falsified the document and forged the signature of the LLC’s manager.
FINRA claims that Rivera did not want the firm to know that he owed a debt to his customer, so rather than admit to the debt, he told First Southern that the purpose of the falsification and forgery was to show the customer that he would make him whole for trading losses incurred at a prior firm where Rivera was the broker.
Additionally, in connection with his customer’s divorce proceedings, the customer was ordered to obtain life insurance naming his children as beneficiaries. Before the life insurance company would issue a policy, it required the customer to provide a list of his assets. Accordingly, to assist his customer in obtaining life insurance, Rivera provided the customer with a promissory note falsely representing that he owed the customer $250,000.
According to his BrokerCheck profile, Rivera was terminated from First Southern “for failing to advise the firm immediately of a customer complaint/concern; settling that complaint without disclosing it to the firm; copying and altering documents taken from the desk of a principal of the firm, all without his knowledge or permission.”
FINRA issued a deferred fine of $10,000 and suspended Rivera for five months, who signed the AWC letter without admitting or denying the allegations.