The National Association of Securities Dealers announced that it has taken disciplinary action against the Wilens Securities Co. of Bethesda and its principal, Martin B. Wilens.
The NASD, a self-regulatory group of brokerage firms, said the company was suspended from membership in the group from Nov. 29 until Dec. 3. An NASD spokesman said that meant that Wilens Securities could not do business with any securities firm that is a member of the NASD. Nearly all brokerage firms that do business with the public -- including those that are members of other self-regulatory bodies such as stock exchanges--are part of the NASD.
The organization said that Wilens and the company submitted an "offer of settlement" to the NASD findings. It said Wilens consented to the penalties "without admitting or denying the allegations" made by the NASD.
Wilens called the settlement a "slap on the wrist" but would not comment further. He said he wanted to "see nothing in print" about the charges or the suspension.
The NASD said the firm failed to maintain required net capital, did not "prepare and maintain accurate books and records," failed to file financial reports "timely and accurately" and improperly extended credit to customers.
The organization also said that Wilens Securities did not honor "voluntary" agreements it made with the NASD to "cease operations until net capital compliance was demonstrated." Net capital rules require a broker to maintain a minimum level of capital -- such as stock or long-term debt -- to cover a specified percentage of its business.
The NASD said Wilens himself was prohibited from "association" with any NASD member "in any capacity for five days."