NEW YORK, JUNE 16 -- The New York Stock Exchange said today it has "disciplined" 18 brokers and two brokerage firms for violations ranging from improper bookkeeping to making securities trades without customer approval.
The exchange levied $166,500 in fines and permanently barred five brokers from the exchange. The others were barred from associating with any member organizations for periods ranging from three weeks to 10 years.
The firms and the brokers each consented to the disciplinary action without admitting or denying guilt for alleged abuses dating back several years.
The decisions on this latest round of cases were handed down over the past eight months but were made public today.
The heaviest fine was levied against Quinn & Co., a former member firm that the exchange alleged violated 22 exchange rules, including failing to maintain net capital requirements, misstating its financial condition and improperly maintaining company records. The company agreed to pay $60,000.
Pace Securities Inc. was fined $4,000 for allegedly failing to maintain its net capital at the required level.
Among the individuals permanently barred from working for any stock exchange member firm was Richard Charles Toland, who allegedly misappropriated $182,000 from his customers' accounts.
The exchange said Toland, a former broker with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., arranged for checks payable to his customers to be drawn against their accounts without their knowledge.
Toland allegedly endorsed the checks and "converted the proceeds to his own use and benefit."
In a separate case, the exchange barred one broker from associating with an exchange firm for a decade retroactive to his 1983 firing. The exchange said Leo Kirk, a broker with Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., allegedly bought stocks for a customer's account without authorization and then said the purchases were "the product of computer errors" when the customer asked about the transactions.
Kirk also placed between $10,000 to $15,000 in the highly volatile options market for a customer who had an annual income of only $20,000. Kirk told the exchange he sometimes deposited his own money into the customer's account to cover securities purchases.
Smith Barney fired Kirk in December 1983, and the exchange barred him from associating with a member firm until 1993.
The decisions against the brokers and the firms were made by the stock exchange's enforcement division, which regularly examines whether its member firms and brokers are complying with exchange rules.
The exchange noted that in addition to monitoring the financial condition of its member firms, it also reviews the handling of accounts to protect customers.
Each case could be subject to further review by the Securities and Exchange Commission.