FINRA Sanctions Three Advisors Over Improper Covid-19 Loan Applications

Posted on August 11th, 2021 at 2:12 PM
FINRA Sanctions Three Advisors Over Improper Covid-19 Loan Applications

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law:

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has sanctioned three advisors associated with major firms for improperly applying federal small business loan programs initiated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. FINRA announced in January 2021 that it intended to strengthen oversight of advisors who sought Covid-19 relief loans to fund undisclosed outside business activities (OBAs). 

Gloria Willis, Evelyn Batista and Kenric Sexton are no longer associated with any advisory firm and have reportedly been suspended or barred from the securities industry. According to the advisors’ BrokerCheck profiles, each industry rule violation was related to applications for federal loans from the Small Business Association (SBA). 

After working for J.P. Morgan Securities since 2014, Willis was barred from the industry after refusing to testify in FINRA’s investigation of her resignation from the firm. Batista, who was associated with Merrill Lynch for less than one year, received a seven-month suspension from FINRA after Batista “made reckless misrepresentations in a loan application and loan agreement she submitted to the Small Business Administration to obtain an economic injury disaster loan”, according to FINRA. Sexton was suspended for one month and fined $2,500 after leaving Wells Fargo. According to FINRA, “Sexton did not operate any business eligible for a small business loan from the SBA. Instead, Sexton was seeking the loan to fund his self-directed online trading account.”

Eccleston Law LLC represents investors and financial advisors nationwide in securities, employment, regulatory and disciplinary matters.


Tags: eccleston, finra, covid-19

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