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Regulatory Sanctions

Broker Canned for False Account Verification

November 14, 2017

by Howard Haykin


The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The quickest way to get fired from a broker-dealer is to create false correspondence on firm stationery.


Christopher Pollard agreed to pay a $10K fine and to serve a 15-month suspension to settle FINRA charges that he created, signed, and distributed letters printed on his member firm’s letterhead to a 3rd-party realtor that contained false information.


BACKGROUND.    Pollard, a resident of Snellville, GA, has 3 years’ experience with 1 firm. From February 2012 until May 2016, he served as a General Securities Representative with Morgan Stanley. Pollard was U5’d on 4/18/16 on allegations that the created “inaccurate correspondence.  In the year that followed, Pollard was hired by 2 other FINRA member firms – both times in non-registered capacities – and both times was terminated with 2 or 3 months. Pollard currently is not associated with a FINRA member firm.


FINRA FINDINGS.   In early 2016, Pollard created, signed, and sent letters printed on Morgan Stanley letterhead to a third-party realtor confirming that an individual, “AD,” was a Morgan Stanley customer who had the financial ability to purchase a multi-million dollar home.  


  • The 2/29/26 letter stated that AD had the necessary funds to purchase a $5 million home in full.


  • The 3/10/16 letter stated that AD had the necessary funds to purchase an $8 million home in full and that Pollard was "managing" the funds.


  • Both letters were false and misleading because: (i) AD was not a Firm customer; (ii) AD did not have any funds at the Firm; and, (iii) the letters implied that Pollard had the authority to issue them when, in fact, he did not.


This case was reported in FINRA Disciplinary Actions for September 2017.

For details on this case, go to ...  FINRA Disciplinary Actions Online, and refer to Case #2016050040201.