On February 16, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) signed off on a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (“AWC”), pursuant to which financial advisor Darrell Walter Rideaux (CRD# 5211032), without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, voluntarily consented to a bar from working in the securities industry in any capacity. Based on publicly available information, Mr. Rideaux first became associated with a FINRA member firm in 2007 as a registered representative. Most recently, Mr. Rideaux was affiliated with Morgan Stanley (CRD# 149777) from 2013-2015, and thereafter, NMS Capital Advisors, LLC (“NMS Capital”) (CRD# 140356) from 2016-2017.
According to FINRA’s findings of fact as enumerated in the AWC, “On February 25, 2015, Rideaux voluntarily terminated his employment with Morgan Stanley…” Thereafter, in August 2016, Mr. Rideaux became registered as a general securities representative with NMS Capital. Based on information set forth in the AWC, as well as Mr. Rideaux’s BrokerCheck report, his departure from Morgan Stanley is allegedly due to his “potential participation in securities activity away from Morgan Stanley….”
In light of Mr. Rideaux’s voluntary departure from Morgan Stanley, and FINRA Enforcement’s follow-up investigation in February 2018 concerning alleged activity away from his then employer, it appears that Mr. Rideaux may have engaged in an impermissible activity known as “selling away.” Selling away occurs when a broker or financial advisor sells an investment to a client that is not included in the client’s account or among the investment products offered by the firm. Selling away is often associated with a broker’s other (“outside”) business activities. Such private securities typically include investments in private placements, closely-held private companies, limited partnerships, certain real estate investments, as well as promissory notes. If the broker fails to notify the firm, in the first instance, or proceeds with an unauthorized transaction in derogation of the firm’s order, then selling away has occurred, in direct violation of FINRA Rule 3280 and NASD Rule 3040.