The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has barred former HSBC Securities broker Jaime R. Rodriguez in connection with a charge that he took $200,000 from an elderly and legally blind customer and used the money to purchase two apartments in his own name.
While a bank broker at HSBC in 2010, Mr. Rodriguez befriended an elderly and blind customer in the Bronx, N.Y., and started helping him with grocery shopping and other errands. In August 2012, when the man's lease on his apartment was terminated, Mr. Rodriguez offered his assistance in locating and purchasing an apartment.
In October 2012, Mr. Rodriguez paid approximately $70,000 for an apartment using the client's funds. The apartment was supposed to be purchased in the client's name, but the client — who could not see or read the documents due to his disability — was unaware that Mr. Rodriguez was the sole beneficial owner of the apartment, which became the client's home.
In December 2012, Mr. Rodriguez recommended that the client open a joint bank account with Mr. Rodriguez so the broker could help in bill paying. The joint banking account, opened at a separate bank with an opening balance of approximately $42,000, was funded exclusively by the customer and reached a balance as high as approximately $153,000 in September 2013.
When a grocery store within walking distance of the apartment closed, Mr. Rodriguez purchased a second apartment in nearby Yonkers, N.Y., using $130,000 from the joint banking account — again with Mr. Rodriguez as the sole owner. After the client decided to remain in the first apartment, Mr. Rodriguez rented out the second and kept the rental income.
Mr. Rodriguez, who began his career as a bank rep at Chase in 2007, joined HSBC in 2010. He was terminated by HSBC in July 2014 and joined Capital One in 2014. He was with CUSO Financial Services from 2016 until he was terminated this past April.