FINRA has barred stockbroker Gary Wayne Hammond from the securities industry. On January 19, 2021, Mr. Hammond and FINRA entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (“AWC”) over allegations that between February 2016 and October 2016, Mr. Hammond participated in at least 14 private securities transactions totaling $1.6 million without providing written notice to his firm. At the time, Mr. Hammond was registered with MSI Financial Services.
If you have lost money with Gary Wayne Hammond or MSI Financial Services f/k/a MetLife Securities, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.
The AWC describes the following factual findings:
In 2000, Mr. Hammond became a registered representative through a FINRA member later known as MSI Financial Services, LLC. In March 2017, Mr. Hammond became registered with MML Investors Services, LLC, following its acquisition of MSI Financial Services.
On May 3, 2017, MML Investor Services filed a Form U5 (Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration). MML Investor Services reported that Mr. Hammond was terminated in connection with an internal review relating to a violation of company policy as to the handling of a customer complaint and selling away. You can read more about selling away here.
Between February 2016 and October 2016, Mr. Hammond participated in at least 14 private securities transactions and failed to provide notice to his firm. The transactions involved investments in three LLCs controlled by Hammond’s half-brother, totaling $1,638,000. Mr. Hammond referred ten customers, who invested a total of $1,019,000, to two of the LLC investments, which turned out to be Ponzi schemes.
Mr. Hammond participated in these private securities transactions by referring investors to his half-brother, attending meetings about the investments, and receiving compensation for referrals. The compensation was typically 6% of the funds raised.
In a June 13, 2016 compliance questionnaire, Mr. Hammond falsely answered questions about whether he participated in private securities transactions or received referral fees outside of his firm.
Financial Advisor Gary Wayne Hammond (CRD#: 2660432)
Mr. Hammond has been in the securities industry since 1995. During his career, he has been registered with the following firms:
- Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc., Charlotte, NC (August 2017 – December 2017);
- MML Investors Services, LLC, Charlotte, NC (March 2017 – May 2017);
- Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Charlotte, NC (August 2000 – July 2007);
- MSI Financial Services, Inc., Charlotte, NC (August 2000 – March 2017);
- Park Avenue Securities LLC, New York, NY (July 2000 – August 2000);
- Park Avenue Securities LLC, New York, NY (May 1999 – July 2000); and
- Guardian Investor Services Corporation, New York, NY (October 1995 – May 1999).
Mr. Hammond has been the subject of ten customer complaints, most of which allege the same type of violations: unfair and deceptive trade practices and state securities fraud regarding the advisor’s recommendation to invest in private securities. Two of the complaints are pending. Mr. Hammond’s CRD also reports three large settlements for $680,000, $1,190,000, $975,000 (which according to disclosure documents publicly available required an individual contribution of $175,000).
Duty to Supervise
Financial institutions, like MSI Financial Services f/k/a MetLife Securities, must properly supervise financial advisors and customer accounts. Brokerage firms are required to establish and maintain a reasonably designed system to oversee account activity, such as private securities transactions, to ensure compliance with securities laws and industry regulations. When a brokerage firm fails to supervise its financial advisors or the investment account activity sufficiently, it may be liable for investment losses sustained by customers.
Iorio Altamirano LLP is a securities arbitration law firm based in New York, NY. We pursue FINRA arbitration claims nationwide on behalf of investors to recover financial losses arising out of wrongful conduct by financial advisors and brokerage firms.
If you have lost money with Gary Wayne Hammond or MSI Financial Services f/k/a MetLife Securities, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers August Iorio and Jorge Altamirano of Iorio Altamirano LLP at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or toll-free at (855) 430-4010 for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.
Iorio Altamirano LLP is a bilingual law firm, fluent in both English and Spanish.