Walter Mencken 9:21 p.m., Oct. 20
Carlsbad broker suspended, fined for trust activity
After removing funds, Kent Houston didn't provide documentation to regulator
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (known as FINRA) has suspended Carlsbad's Kent Houston for two years and fined him $25,000 for failure to provide testimony, and additionally given him a consecutive one-year suspension and $50,000 fine for having outside business as a trustee. Houston was a trustee for the trust of his great aunt and uncle, according to FINRA documents. From 2001 through early 2006, he removed more than $400,000 from the trust account. But he didn't give his brokerage house, First Wall Street, notice that he was engaged in outside business activity or was receiving compensation for acting as trustee for the trust. According to FINRA, on five occasions Houston failed to disclose his trust activities to the firm. Houston did not produce all the documents that FINRA had requested, and did not appear and testify as requested according to FINRA.
Houston initially appealed the FINRA decision to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which remanded the case to FINRA. FINRA then moderated its decision.