FINRA Bars Former Northwestern Broker for Impersonating Customers

FINRA Bars Former Northwestern Broker for Impersonating Customers

Former Northwestern Mutual broker Matthew Cochran has been barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.

FINRA barred Cochran based on allegations that he engaged in private securities transactions and outside business activities away from Northwestern Mutual Investment Services without permission.

Cochran and Father Execute Thousands of Transactions

According to FINRA, Matthew Cochran of Charlotte, N.C., and his father, who is not a broker, opened 94 accounts with TD Ameritrade, held by 98 customers. FINRA reports that Cochran did not inform Northwestern Mutual or TD Ameritrade of his activity.

Cochran and his father kept the customers’ usernames and passwords for TD Ameritrade accounts in an unsecure spreadsheet, using access to trade options and other securities, based on verbal — but not written — discretion given to Cochran.

Details disclosed by Northwestern Mutual on BrokerCheck show that from November 2015 through April 2, 2017, Cochran and his unlicensed father used their discretion to execute 5,931 transactions with an aggregate value of more than $9.6 million for the investors with the TD Ameritrade accounts. The broker received $34,000 for trading activities from his customers.

FINRA also reports that in 10 telephone calls to the executing firm, Cochran impersonated the account holders and instructed the firm to liquidate their positions.

Cochran Allowed to Resign from Firm

Northwestern Mutual allowed Cochran to resign on April 12 of last year after he admitted to engaging in private securities transactions, selling away from the firm, and avoiding documentation to evade supervision of the transactions.

Cochran was a financial advisor and registered representative (a broker) with Northwestern Mutual Investment Services from November 2011 to May 2017.

He is not currently registered with a FINRA firm but is listed as an independent financial consultant.

Are You a Victim of Stockbroker Misconduct?

If you believe you are a victim of Matthew Cochran or believe you lost money as a result of stockbroker negligence, contact an experienced investment fraud attorney today.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

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