The United States Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has suspended a former representative of Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. over his engagement of outside business activities involving cryptocurrencies.
Marceliano Macias first became registered with FINRA in 2020. He was registered as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative through an association with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. (CRD No. 16164) from January 2020 to April 2021.
From June 2020 through March 2021, while registered through Transamerica, Macias participated in a business that conducted a cryptocurrency purchase and sales program. He provided capital to the business, and which the business used to purchase cryptocurrencies in Colombia.
Macias and his partner then sold the cryptocurrencies on a U.S.-based exchange for a profit. Macias and his partner sent the proceeds from those sales to several bank accounts, which Macias established for the business’s use, and his partner then withdrew those funds in Colombia to make additional cryptocurrency purchases. Macias monitored the bank accounts to ensure that his partner had sufficient funds to repeat the purchase-and-sale process, which they repeated numerous times, each time generating profits.
Macias received approximately $15,000 in compensation from his participation in the cryptocurrency business during the relevant period.
The cryptocurrency business was outside the scope of Macias’s relationship with Transamerica. He failed to provide prior notice to Transamerica, written or otherwise, of his involvement in the cryptocurrency business.
Therefore, Macias violated FINRA Rules 3270 and 2010.
The respondent consented to the imposition of a three-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member in all capacities and a $7,500 fine.
The effective date of the notice is September 21, 2021.