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FINRA Fines and Suspends Former Merrill Lynch Adviser

Gordon Scott Wallace, a former Merrill Lynch Adviser, was suspended and fined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for improperly removing nonpublic personal customer information when he moved from Merrill Lynch to RBC Wealth Management.

Allegedly, in May 2021, in anticipation of joining RBC, Wallace improperly removed his customers’ nonpublic personal information from Merrill Lynch, without the firm’s or the customers’ consent. Specifically, between May 29 and May 31, while associated with Merrill Lynch, Wallace took photographs of account information for approximately 35 customers contained within Merrill Lynch’s electronic systems, including customer names, dates of birth, customer account numbers and social security numbers.

In addition, supposedly during the same period, Wallace directed junior members of his brokerage team to also photograph account information contained within Merrill Lynch’s systems, including nonpublic personal information of at least 100 customers. Following Wallace’s resignation from Merrill Lynch on June 3, 2021, Wallace and members of his brokerage team improperly retained the customers’ nonpublic personal information. That information was secured by RBC, which returned the customers’ nonpublic personal information to Merrill Lynch prior to its use.

Wallace was fined $5,000 and suspended for 10 days.

According to BrokerCheck, Wallace began working with Merrill Lynch in 1989 after leaving Amev Investors Inc. after less than a year.

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