FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Contact: Ryan Hobart, (573) 526-0949
Carnahan Permanently Bars St. Louis Broker
Requires Broker-Dealer Firm to Enhance its Supervisory Structure
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced a final resolution with Forsyth Securities, Inc. and Hugh Vincent Murray III, both of St. Louis, Missouri, resulting in two consent orders concerning Murray’s failure to reasonably supervise Missouri-registered agents engaged in dishonest and unethical practices.
In the consent orders issued December 22, 2011, Carnahan announced sanctions against Forsyth Securities, Inc., censuring the firm and requiring enhancements to the firm’s supervisory structure. The orders state that Forsyth, which Murray owned and served as chief supervisory officer of, failed to supervise agents who engaged in dishonest or unethical practices. As a result, Hugh Vincent Murray III has been permanently barred from working in the securities industry.
According to two consent orders, Missouri broker agents under Murray’s supervision failed to timely amend their registration documents and appropriately disclose material events, including a regulatory action, tax liens, felony pleas and a conviction. In addition, Murray admitted to investigators with the Missouri Securities Division that, while Murray was operating Forsyth, he allowed an agent to serve as a supervisor when the agent was not qualified to do so.
“It is wholly unacceptable for financial professionals to hide something as serious as a felony conviction, and my office took action to make sure this won’t happen again,” Carnahan commented. “Before choosing a broker, always remember to call the Investor Protection Hotline to learn about a broker’s history and registration.”
Murray, who has relinquished his ownership in Forsyth, is permanently barred from registering as a securities agent or investment adviser representative in Missouri. Forsyth, now under new leadership, will be censured and is required to pay for a comprehensive compliance exam by the Securities Division’s Audit Unit within six months. Further, Forsyth is required to enhance its compliance and supervisory policies and procedures as well as the firm’s ability to implement those procedures, including the hiring of new agents.
Forsyth’s failure to supervise its agents and other deficient compliance procedures were discovered during a 2010 on-site audit of the firm led by the Securities Division’s Audit Unit. The division’s investigation into the activities of former Forsyth agents is ongoing.
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, or for information regarding a company or representative, visit the secretary of state’s online Investor Protection Center at www.MissouriInvestorProtection.gov or call the toll-free Investor Protection Hotline at 800-721-7996.
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To find out more about Missouri's Secretary of State's office, visit www.sos.mo.gov
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