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Florida Business, Whistleblower, & Securities Lawyers / Blog / FINRA / Former Florida Broker Permanently Barred for Alleged Theft

Former Florida Broker Permanently Barred for Alleged Theft

According to his BrokerCheck Report, Jeffrey Brian Grove of Melbourne, Florida has been permanently barred from the financial services industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). According to FINRA, Grove was employed as a registered representative at the Melbourne, Florida branch office of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. from 1999 until he was terminated on August 29, 2014. According to his Central Registration Depository (“CRD”) report maintained by FINRA, at the time he was terminated, Grove held securities licenses 7, 9, 10 and 63. On September 25, 2014, Schwab reported to FINRA that the firm discharged Grove on August 29, 2014 for allegedly purchasing unauthorized office equipment through Schwab’s corporate procurement system then re-selling the equipment to other third party individuals and pocketing the sale proceeds. At the time of his termination, Grove handled approximately 250 customer accounts according to Schwab.

On November 17, 2014, a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (“AWC”) was entered into by Grove and FINRA. Grove neither admitted nor denied the findings set forth in the AWC. According to the AWC, between February and August 2014, Grove submitted orders for office equipment for his branch office through Schwab’s equipment procurement system which were automatically approved by Schwab upon purchase. The AWC reflects that, in reality, the equipment was taken from Grove’s office and sold to unknown third party individuals for approximately $1 million. FINRA alleged that Grove then converted the sale proceeds to his own personal use and benefit. According to FINRA, the conversion of funds was a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 which states “a member, in the conduct of its business, shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.”

In the AWC, Grove agreed to a permanent bar from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity, including clerical or ministerial functions. In addition to the FINRA allegations, a review of the Orange County court records reflects that a first-degree felony charge of conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone is pending against Grove. A $50,000 bond was filed on September 30, 2014. The court docket reflects that trial has been set for the three-week trial period beginning January 5, 2015. The relation, if any, of the pending criminal allegations to the Schwab allegations is unknown.

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