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Former Cetera broker barred by FINRA over use of clients’ funds

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2022 | Broker Misconduct

A former broker for Cetera Advisors has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for allegedly using money from her clients for the investments of a family member, InvestmentNews reports.

The action was taken against Marianne O’Shee Smith, who was with Cetera from 2016 to 2021 before being discharged over the allegations. According to FINRA, Smith received $45,100 in checks from three customers between February 2018 and April 2021 and was directed to use the money for their mutual fund investments. Instead she allegedly used the checks to purchase mutual fund shares for a family member without the prior knowledge or consent of the clients, all of whom were senior citizens. FINRA said Smith wrote the family member’s mutual fund account number and fund ticker symbol on each check from the customers.

The customers were fully reimbursed after Smith’s alleged misconduct was uncovered. In June, Cetera informed FINRA that Smith had been fired following the firm’s investigation of the incident.

Smith, who has spent 34 years in the securities industry, agreed to FINRA’s letter of acceptance, waiver and consent barring her but did not admit or deny the findings.

Lewitas Hyman routinely represents investors harmed when financial professionals and their firms engaged in misconduct that caused their clients investment losses. Our team includes lawyers who have worked for large financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Services, and regulatory bodies such as the SEC. If you think your financial professional or firm engaged in misconduct that caused you investment losses, contact us at (888) 655 6002 or through our online contact form for a no-cost evaluation of your matter.