IFS Securities, a broker-dealer based in Atlanta, has shut down after requesting that FINRA and the 25 states where it was licensed terminate its status as a broker-dealer, effective December 2, 2019.
IFS told Bloomberg News in August that it suffered “substantial losses” due to unauthorized bond trades made by one of its highest-ranking employees. The broker-dealer reportedly alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is cooperating with those agencies.
It was later revealed that IFS fired its head of fixed income, Keith Wakefield, for engaging in “fraud” and “placing fictitious trades,” and FINRA barred Wakefield weeks later.
In its latest regulatory filing, IFS details three regulatory disclosures and one arbitration on its record. Most recently, in June 2019, IFS was fined $50,000 for underwriting a $6 million municipal bond offering for the Harvey, Illinois Public Library District that was intended to finance the expansion and renovation of the library building. Regulators claim that IFS acted negligently by selling the bonds below market price for comparable bonds.An attempt to contact IFS was unsuccessful as the company’s number is now out of service.