The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has suspended and fined John Robert White, a former Growth Capital Services broker, for allegedly forging the CEO’s signature on a private placement agreement and conducting business through an unauthorized, personal email account.
White, who is currently a direct participation program representative and corporate securities representative, was affiliated with Growth Capital Services for three years, between October 2014 and November 2017, before taking a position with another firm.
FINRA claims that White, through his approved outside business, negotiated and signed a private placement engagement agreement with the issuer and would receive a $5,000 retainer fee once the agreement was signed by Growth Capital’s CEO.
According to a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent issued by FINRA, White allegedly signed the CEO’s name on the document without his permission or knowledge of the agreement.
FINRA noted that White left Growth Capital in November 2017, and in December 2017, the firm filed an amended Form U5 indicating that an internal investigation revealed that White had “violated the firm’s written supervisory procedures and industry standards of conduct and ethics.”
FINRA’s AWC letter further discloses that White used an unauthorized, personal email account to communicate with the issuer about the agreement and failed to preserve all business-related communications for a period of three years, as required.
FINRA claims that White violated Rules 4511 and 2010 by causing a firm to maintain inaccurate or incomplete books and failing to observe high standards of commercial honor. He was suspended from associating with any FINRA member firm for seven months, fined $5,000, and he accepted and signed the AWC letter without admitting or denying the findings.