December 10, 2020
Former Atlanta general securities representative John Timberlake recently consented to sanctions imposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Department of Enforcement to resolve allegations of violating securities industry rules by using his personal cell phone to conduct securities business.
FINRA Rule 4511 requires member firms to maintain books and records including keeping record of all communications relating to business sent or received by customers for three years. The Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) accepted by FINRA on November 18, 2020 states that Timberlake used his personal cell phone to send text messages regarding securities business from March 2014 to August 2019 without providing copies to his member firms during this time: SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. and Carter, Terry & Company, Inc. Timberlake was associated with SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. from September 2013 to April 2016 and Carter, Terry & Company, Inc. from July 2016 to May 2020.
Based on the foregoing, Timberlake violated FINRA Rules 2210(d)(1)(B) and 2010. Without admitting or denying the allegations made against him, Timberlake consented to a four-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm and a $10,000 fine.
Timberlake’s FINRA BrokerCheck report shows three customer disputes within the last four years. In January 2016, a customer filed a complaint about an alleged unsuitable margin call. The customer requested and received over $105,000 in damages. In March 2019, a customer alleged that Timberlake failed to implement an appropriate investment strategy and present suitable investments and received $55,000 in damages. Finally, a customer received $50,000 in settlement money after bringing allegations that Timberlake made unsuitable recommendations for a speculative investment strategy.