Former Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. Broker Pedro L. Gonzalez-Seijo Barred by FINRA for Stealing Customer Funds
Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019 at 8:32 pm
Former Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. broker Pedro L. Gonzalez-Seijo (CRD# 2182912) was barred by FINRA after it was found that he took $583,161.25 from his clients. Gonzalez-Seijo was president and owner of PGS Insurance, Inc.
Gonzalez-Seijo was registered with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 2009 to May 2016, when he was terminated regarding, “TFA initiated an internal review after receiving allegations related to unauthorized check withdrawals made from two clients’ Variable Annuity (“VA”) contracts and were subsequently deposited into an unauthorized account. TFA’s review of this matter is ongoing.”
In January 2019, Gonzalez-Seijo pled guilty to one count of bank fraud, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announcement.
In August 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Puerto Rico charged Gonzalez-Seijo with an 11-count indictment alleging securities and bank fraud. According to the announcement, Gonzalez-Seijo “diverted money from his clients through the following manners and means: the defendant would accept checks from his clients that were meant to be deposited into the clients’ variable annuity account. Instead of depositing these checks into the clients’ variable annuity account, and without authorization from the clients, he deposited the money directly into his Banco Popular bank account, for his own personal gain and use. González-Seijo, without authorization from the clients, would withdraw money from his clients’ funds, and then deposit the withdrawal, minus any required withdrawal fees, into his Banco Popular bank account for his own personal gain and use.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Puerto Rico also alleged that Gonzalez-Seijo “diverted money by getting authorization from his clients to withdraw money from his clients’ funds, supposedly to invest in a different product. González-Seijo would deposit the money into his personal account for his own personal gain and use.”
Gonzalez-Seijo has been the subject of two customer complaints in 2016, one of which was closed without action, according to his CRD report:
March 2016. “TFA received allegations from a product sponsor and a written statement from a client related to unauthorized withdrawals and subsequent check deposits into an unauthorized account from the client’s variable annuity.” The customer is seeking $5,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Gonzalez-Seijo’s customers.
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