The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. is suspending and fining Paul Betenbaugh, a former registered representative with Edward Jones in California, for allegedly posting a rival rep’s phone number online in ads soliciting sex.
FINRA’s order indicates that three times in September and October 2015, “Betenbaugh posted internet ads impersonating a competing registered representative and soliciting men for sexual encounters.”
In its order, FINRA notes that “harassing and abusive conduct” violates its rules.
“All the posts listed the competing registered representative’s business cell phone number as the contact number. As a result, the competing registered representative received phone calls and text messages on his business cell phone in response to the ads Bettenbaugh posted,” the order says.
The regulator is imposing a US$7,500 fine and a three-month suspension against Bettenbaugh for violating the ethical principles enshrined in FINRA’s rules.