Ex-Wells Fargo Broker Suspended Over Improper Cash Deposits
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Department of Enforcement
vs. Joseph M. Focil
Background: Joseph M. Focil first entered the securities industry in January 2008. He registered as a Merrill Lynch broker for less than one year before moving to Chase Investment Services. Focil became registered with Wells Fargo Advisors in June 2011, which the firm later terminated his employment on October 29, 2015. Focil moved to Wedbush Securities in 2015 and left within a year. He’s not currently registered with any firm.
Overview of Allegations: From July 29, 2015 to September 1, 2015, Focil made eight cash deposits into his personal bank account in amounts under $10,000. The deposits, totaling $41,800, were structured to avoid the need to file a Currency Transaction Report, which is a requirement under the Banking Secrecy Act to disclose to regulators any currency transactions over $10,000. With his intention to bypass the filing, Focil’s actions violate FINRA Rule 2010.
The funds in question were receipts from a legitimate, home-based business operated by a member of Focil’s family, and Focil promptly accepted responsibility for his conduct both with Wells Fargo and with FINRA.
Focil and his attorney did not return calls for comment.
Result: Without admitting or denying the findings, Focil agreed to a one-year suspension from the securities industry, and a fine of $5,000.