Former Edward Jones Broker Barred for ‘Borrowing’ $60K from Client
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority moved against two former Edward Jones brokers this week over rule violations relating to client assets, according to settlement letters posted on the regulator’s enforcement website.
It imposed a bar against working as a licensed broker on Anthony J. Cummings, who operated a Jones branch for more than 14 years prior to termination of his license last August for borrowing money from a customer without the firm’s knowledge.
Cummings, who was based in Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland, accepted $60,000 that he had solicited from the customer for his personal use, withdrawing the money in 2008 and 2009 directly from the customer’s Jones account.
“Cummings acted unethically by accepting the funds without the means or intent to repay the customer,” according to the posted consent order, which accused him of violating rules against “conversion” and failing to maintain high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.
Cummings, who accepted the charges without admitting or denying the findings, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Prior to joining Jones in 2002, he had worked at predecessor firms to Ameriprise Financial, according to his BrokerCheck history. The database also reports that Cummings in 2016 settled a client’s complaint of having loaned him money for $99,500.
Separately, Finra imposed a six-month suspension and $10,000 fine against Steven Olejniczak, a former Jones broker in West Des Moines, Iowa who was discharged by the firm last July.
He consented to the regulator’s findings,, without admitting or denying them, that he failed to inform the firm that in 2016 he was named a 90% beneficiary of a 76-year-old client’s account and that his wife later succeeded him in that role and also was named as an estate beneficiary in the client’s will. In violating firm rules that prohibited such relationships, as will as violating Jones’ requirement that brokers get its permission before accepting medical power of attorney for a client, Olejniczak violated Finra’s catch-all Rule 2010 regarding high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade, according to the consent order.
Olejniczak, who began his brokerage career in 2012 with Jones, did not immediately respond to messages sent to him via social media accounts.
A spokesman for St. Louis-based Edward Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment.