In a recent disciplinary action announcement, FINRA announced that Lance B. Topol (CRD #5731836, Glen Cove, New York) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Topol consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he created and distributed falsified letters of credit (LOCs), falsified Comfort Letters and a falsified term sheet on behalf of his member firm and/or an affiliate of the firm, without the knowledge or authorization of those firms. The findings stated that in Topol’s capacity as a registered representative of the firm, he did not have the authority on behalf of the firm or the affiliate to issue LOCs or make other promises of financing. Despite making several inquiries to responsible officials of the affiliate seeking financing on a company’s behalf, Topol never received authorization from the affiliate or his firm to issue LOCs or other documents promising financing to the company, and he was not an authorized signatory of LOCs issued by the affiliate. Topol was advised on numerous occasions by affiliate officials that it was unwilling to issue LOCs or extend other financing to the company. The total amount of the financing that was promised in the falsified LOCs exceeded $65 million. Topol distributed all or most of the fictitious documents to contractual counterparties or proposed counterparties of the company, and he made false representations to representatives of the company. The company filed a civil action against the affiliate and the firm in connection with its alleged reliance on the fictitious LOCs and other documents that it received from Topol. The findings also stated that Topol made false representations to representatives of another company that his firm was willing to issue it a line of credit. The firm had never indicated that it was willing to do so.
For the full FINRA findings, see case #2013036989001.
According to his FINRA Broker Report, Topol was employed by Cabot Lodge Securities and Merrill Lynch prior to the FINRA enforcement action.
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