The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined New York-based brokerage firm Meyers Associates LP, now known as Windsor Street Capital, $700,000 for using “unbalanced and misleading sales literature” and failing to supervise the preparation of the firm’s books and records.
The regulators also fined principal Bruce Meyers $50,000 for his role in the firm’s use of “misleading” public communications and $50,000 for his failure to supervise. He was also barred from acting in any supervisory or principal capacity.
Meyers Associates became a FINRA member in 1994 and engages in a retail securities business and investment banking. At the time of the hearing, the firm operated 10 branch offices and employed 75 registered representatives.
Meyers founded Meyers Associates in 1994 and acted as the firm’s chief executive officer, performed investment banking work, and was registered as a general securities representative and a general securities principal. The firm terminated his association in June 2016 and he is not currently associated with another FINRA member.
According to FINRA, Meyers founded biotechnology company SignPath Pharma Inc. in 2006 to synthesize formulations of curcumin, a compound found in the turmeric plant, for medicinal use. Meyers Associates provided investment-banking services to SignPath and worked as the exclusive placement agent for the company’s securities offerings.
FINRA claims that from January to June 2011, Meyers Associates raised more than $350,000 for SignPath, and during those six months, Meyers sent 1,037 emails about SignPath from his work email address.
Meyers composed the emails as “form letters” and sent them to individuals associated with venture capital and hedge funds that invest in biotechnology companies, investors in biotechnology companies, and biotechnology industry analysts and service providers. FINRA claims that the emails constituted sales literature, a violation of NASD Rule 2210.
Meyers has been the subject of six final disciplinary actions since 1990, the most recent of which, an action by the Connecticut Department of Banking in March 2015, resulted in his statutory disqualification. All but one of these actions concerned his failure to fulfill his supervisory responsibilities, FINRA said.
Meyers Associates has been the subject of 16 final disciplinary actions since 2000, and it has paid approximately $390,000 in monetary sanctions as result of these actions. These actions concerned supervisory failure, making untrue statements in connection with a securities offering, failing to keep adequate books and records, and failing to report customer complaints.