FINRA has suspended former Edward Jones broker Lang Phu Nguyen from associating with any FINRA member for 45 days for exercising discretion in customer accounts without prior written authorization and violating firm policies prohibiting the use of personal email for business purposes.
Nguyen was also fined $5,000. He is no longer associated with a FINRA member but remains subject to FINRA’s jurisdiction.
If you have lost money with Lang Phu Nguyen, or Edward Jones, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.
FINRA Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (“AWC”)
Lang Phu Nguyen and FINRA entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (“AWC”) on March 2, 2021, over the following findings:
- Between January 6, 2017, and December 13, 2018, Nguyen exercised discretion in customer accounts without prior written authorization from his customers or approval from the firm in seven customer accounts.
- Nguyen also used a personal cell phone to photograph confidential customer information. He then sent the images from his personal email to his firm email account to access them for business purposes. Nguyen’s firm, Edward Jones, maintained specific policies prohibiting the use of personal email for business purposes and transmitting private client information via email. Nguyen put customer information at risk by failing to take appropriate precautions to safeguard it.
At the time, Lang Phu Nguyen was registered with broker-dealer Edward Jones in Campton Hills, IL.
Use of Discretion Without Prior Written Authorization
From January 2017 through December 2018, Edward Jones prohibited all discretionary trading in brokerage accounts. During this period, Nguyen executed at least 350 trades for seven customers on a discretionary basis. Many transactions consisted of investing rollover cash in mutual funds.
Customers verbally authorized Nguyen to exercise discretion in their accounts; however, they did not provide prior written authorization. Further, Edward Jones never approved discretionary trading in any of the accounts. FINRA found that Nguyen’s conduct violated NASD Rule 2510(b) and FINRA Rule 2010, which requires that brokers “observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.”
Use of Personal Email for Business Purposes
From January 2017 through December 2018, Edward Jones’ policies prohibited the use of non-firm email accounts for business-related purposes. The firm expressly defined “firm business” to include storing, entering, or processing clients’ financial or personal information.
During this period, with customer consent, Nguyen used his personal cell phone to photograph confidential customer information, such as social security cards, driver’s licenses, signed account documents, account statements, addresses, and telephone numbers. Nguyen then used his personal email address to transmit the images of confidential materials to his Edward Jones email account. He transferred at least 151 images of confidential information on at least 135 occasions putting sensitive customer information at risk.
A registered representative who uses a personal device to photograph confidential customer information and a personal email address to transmit that information to a firm email address in contravention of firm policy violates FINRA Rule 2010.
Lang Phu Nguyen (CRD#: 6526189)
Nguyen has three years of experience in the securities industry and has been registered with the following firms:
- Cetera Advisors LLC, Algonquin, IL (February 14, 2019 – April 3, 2019); and
- Edward Jones, Campton Hills, IL (August 31, 2015 – January 7, 2019).
According to the Form U5 filed by Edward Jones on January 7, 2019, Lang Phu Nguyen was terminated on December 14, 2018, due to “[c]oncerns that [the] registered representative did not comply with the firm’s email policy.”
How to Recover Losses or Obtain a Free Consultation
If you have lost money with Lang Phu Nguyen, or Edward Jones, contact New York securities arbitration lawyer Jorge Altamirano of Iorio Altamirano LLP at email@example.com or toll-free at (855) 430-4010 for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.
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.