Aegis Capital Corporation, a New York-based brokerage firm, has admitted that it failed to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) on numerous suspicious transactions.
Content of Penalty:
Broker-dealers are required to file SARs for certain transactions suspected to involve fraudulent activity or have no business or apparent lawful purpose. The SEC’s order found that Aegis failed to file SARs on suspicious transactions that raised red flags indicating the transactions were potentially related to the market manipulation of low-priced securities.
“Aegis failed to meet its AML obligations to report suspicious activity, including when it was faced with specific information alerting the firm to suspicious transactions,” said Antonia Chion, Associate Director and head of the Broker-Dealer Task Force of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “Given the critical importance of SARs to the regulatory and law enforcement community, brokerage firms must comply with their SAR reporting obligations.”
The SEC’s order found that Aegis willfully violated an SEC financial recordkeeping and reporting rule. Aegis agreed to pay a $750,000 penalty and retain a compliance expert. FINRA also announced a settlement with Aegis today that includes an additional $550,000 penalty.