UPDATE March 2017–Melissa A. Strouse, CCO of First Financial Equity Corp., has consented, without admitting or denying the allegations made by FINRA, to the entry of certain findings and violations consistent with the Complaint filed by FINRA in July 2016(see below).
Those findings and conclusions include:
- First Financial Equity Corp had numerous supervisory deficiencies, including failing to establish written supervisory procedures (WSPs) to address portions of its business, failing to have adequate WSPs, and failing to enforce certain of the WSPs it did have.
- WSPs that were not enforced included procedures pertaining to discretionary accounts, excessive trading/churning reviews, and the requirement that the firm’s WSPs detail its actual processes and procedures.
Strouse was suspended for ten calendar days and fined $10,000.
ORIGINAL POSTING-July 2016
The FINRA records of Melissa A. Strouse , a stockbroker who was employed by First Financial Equity Corporation , disclose a pending regulatory event.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.
In July 2016, FINRA filed a complaint naming Strouse, chief compliance officer, and her member firm First Financial Equity Corporation alleging that the written supervisory procedures did not reflect the firm’s actual processes and procedures with respect to the review and or supervision of customer accounts. The FINRA complaint alleges numerous inadequacies with the firm’s supervisory procedures for the period January 2010-June 2013, including Strouse’s failure to review customer accounts for churning and excessive trading. FINRA Case 2013034966701.
First Financial Equity Corporation is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has been a FINRA member since 1985 and has about 168 brokers in 14 branch offices and 59 non-registered office locations nationwide.
Investors who have suffered losses in an account at First Financial Equity Corporation may be entitled to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.
Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL, and Austin, TX, provides representation to investors nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.
Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.
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