Commonwealth Broker Suspended for Trading in Deceased Client’s Account
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Department of Enforcement
vs. Voigt C. Kempson
Background: Kempson entered the securities industry in May 1984. Between May 1984 and February 2007, Kempson was associated with multiple FINRA member firms until registering with Commonwealth Financial Network. On June 27,2016, Commonwealth reported that Kempson’s employment with the Firm was terminated on June 14, 2016. On June 15, 2016, Kempson became registered with another FINRA member firm, where he remains registered.
Overview of Allegations: Between June 29,2015 and April 5,2016, Kempson effected 40 unauthorized trades in a deceased customer’s accounts, in violation of FINRA Rule 2010.
In February 2007, customer NV opened two investment advisory accounts with Kempson at Commonwealth. At the time, NV signed an agreement with the Firm granting Kempson discretionary trading authority over the accounts. On June 13, 2015, NV died. Although Kempson was aware of NV’s death since at least June 29, 2015, Kempson did not inform the Firm of NV’s death and continued to effect trades on a discretionary basis in NV’s accounts. Between June 29, 2015 and April 5, 2016, Kempson effected a total of 40 trades in NV’s accounts. FINRA Rule 2010 requires members, in the conduct of their business, to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. After NV died, Kempson had no written authority to conduct any trades in NV’s accounts.
Broker comment: “Followed directives of executors, unaware of requirement to notify broker dealer of death.” (via BrokerCheck)
Result: Without admitting or denying the findings, Kempson agreed to a 30-day suspension from associating with a Finra member in any capacity and a $5,000 fine.