Several regional stock brokers or companies were served with sharp penalties yesterday, following investigations into alleged violations of National Association of Securities Dealers rules.
The NASD, a self-regulatory organization for the over-the-counter securities markets, announced the following disciplinary actions:
S. Walters & Co., Inc., formerly based in Silver Spring, was expelled from the industry for allegedly seeking to dominate and control the market for a particular security. The issue was not identified.
Stanley S. Walters, a principal in the Silver Spring firm, was barred from association with any NASD firm in any capacity and fined $10,000.
Eugene A. Jewett, a principal of First Georgetown Securities Inc., was suspended from association with any NASD firm as a principal for three years because he allegedly "caused newspaper advertisements to be published which contained errors of a material nature."
Geoffrey A. Kligman, a principal of G.A. Kligman & Co., of Rossly, and formerly associated with First Georgetown, was barrel from association with an NASD firm as a principal and fined $5,000, based on the same allegation by Jewett.
Goodman Securities Corp., of Richmond, was expelled from the NASD for allegedly distorting facts and "deceiving customers participating in limited partnerships." Also barred were principals Robert M. Goodman and Robert A. Benson Sr.
In the case of Kligman, the NASD noted yesterday that his penalty has been stayed pending an appeal by the broker to the Securities and Exchange Commission. All other penalties were effective the opening of business yesterday, the NASD stated.
The telephone of Walters in suburban Maryland has been disconnected, and he could not be contracted yesterday. Similarly, there was no telephone for Goodman Securities in Richmond and no trace of the individuals cited by the NASD.
Allin Baxter, a lawyer for Jewett, declined to comment on the NASD penalty because "this matter is before regulatory people," a reference confirmed by other sources to an SEC investigation into the same case.
"Comment would be inopportune at this time," Baxter stated.
Involved in the same case as Jewett is Klingman, who claimed in a telephone interview yesterday that the NASDA is conducting a "witchhunt it's all a big muckraking." The newspaper advertisments questioned by the NASD were published in The Washington Post, and featured promotions for various high-yield bonds and other issues, Kligman stated.
However, Klingman continued, there were mistakes in the advertisments, such as "decimal points in the wrong place," and The Washington Post made the mistakes." Klingman said Washington Post representatives had been called to testify at NASD hearings on the allegations.
According to Post advertising salesman Neal Shelby and Post lawyer Christopher Little, they did attend the NASD proceedings. Shelby said he told the panel that "in a few instances" typographical erros had been made on copy submitted close to deadline and by telephone.
Members of the NASD disciplinary committee, generally local brokers, declined to comment on the actions taken yesterday beyond a formal announcement. Several sources said they expect the SEC to study allegations about improper securities advertising of local firms in the near future.