Finra bars ex-MML broker who sold $3.5 million of Woodbridge Ponzi

Floyd Powell received $104,000 in commissions from the transactions

Feb 14, 2019 @ 4:25 pm

By Bruce Kelly

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. said Wednesday that it had barred a broker who sold close to $3.5 million of promissory notes relating to the Woodbridge Group of Companies, a purported real estate investment fund that turned out to be a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

The broker, Floyd Powell, made the unapproved private securities transactions between July 2016 and December 2017, according to Finra.

Over that time, he first worked at MSI Financial Services Inc., formerly known as MetLife Securities Inc. In March 2017, MSI merged with MML Investors Services Inc., where Mr. Powell was registered through last February. MML reported that it had terminated Mr. Powell at that time, according to Finra.

Mr. Powell could not be reached to comment. A spokesman for MML, Jim Lacey, did not return a call Thursday to comment about Mr. Powell.

In December 2017, Woodbridge declared bankruptcy, and weeks later the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the company with running a massive Ponzi scheme.

It was later revealed that many Woodbridge sales agents were not associated with registered broker-dealers or investment advisory firms. And several of the sales agents had been censured or barred by the SEC, Finra or state securities regulators.

It has since come to light that a smattering of the Woodbridge sales agents were registered at a variety of broker-dealers.

Mr. Powell sold the Woodbridge notes to 13 investors, 11 of whom were customers of MML or MSI, according to Finra. He did not provide notice to the broker-dealers prior to selling the securities.

Mr. Powell consented to the settlement without admitting to or denying Finra's findings.

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