The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has suspended and fined two former IMS Securities brokers, Kim Kopacka and Beth DeBouvre, for helping Kopacka’s previously barred husband sell $40 million worth of securities to retail customers. Commissions from the transactions, which included non-traded real estate investment trust sales, totaled more than $6 million.
Kopacka spent five years with First Financial United Investments, and another 14 years at the recently expelled broker-dealer, IMS Securities. DeBouvre was also associated with First Financial and IMS.
Kopacka’s husband, Timothy Kopacka, was barred and fined by FINRA’s predecessor in December 1998 over allegations that he had engaged in private securities transactions without approvals from his then-affiliated firm, First Financial.
During his association with First Financial, Timothy Kopacka conducted his securities and insurance business under the name Grosse Pointe Financial Inc. from an office located in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.
After his bar became effective, he continued to use the same business name and work out of the Grosse Pointe office. Despite the fact that he was barred, from at least 2002 through 2016, Kim Kopacka and DeBouvre allowed him to meet with new and existing firm customers.
Debouvre, who started working with the Kopacka’s in 2001 and served as branch manager and supervisor, allegedly knew that Timothy Kopacka—and not Kim Kopacka—was responsible for the accounts and transactions that she approved.
FINRA claims that Kim Kopacka and DeBouvre facilitated his securities business and helped him circumvent his disqualification by falsifying documents, approving transactions, and concealing the fact that he was barred from practicing.
Timothy Kopacka also served as one of the principals and founders of United Development Funding, a family of private and publicly-traded investment funds. Last year, the SEC charged two UDF funds and four executives for allegedly misleading investors, and the executives were fined $8.3 million to settle the charges.
FINRA claims that over a nine-year period, Kim Kopacka generated approximately $2.9 million in commissions from her husband selling $42.7 million in UDF funds and REITs to 280 customers.
Without admitting or denying the findings of FINRA’s investigation, Kopacka was suspended for two years, fined $10,000, and must disgorge a portion of the commissions totaling $350,000, plus interest.
DeBouvre was suspended for 15 months and fined $10,000.
According to their Brokercheck profiles, Kim Kopacka and Debouvre have multiple pending customer disputes starting from 2016, and many that have since been settled.