A federal judge in Orlando, Florida has permanently barred Richard Goble, president of a defunct clearing firm and a critic of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, from the securities industry and ordered him to pay a fine of $7,500.
U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven said that Goble was guilty of engaging in an improper transaction to keep his clearing firm afloat. The firm, North American Clearing, was shut down by the Securites and Exchange Commission in May 2008. At one point it had about 40 small broker-dealer clients and cleared transactions for 10,000 customer accounts valued at more than $500 million.
The firm’s financial woes began in 2007 when a large client departed and it lost more than $7 million with customer transactions in a penny stock-company. North American Clearing was based in Longwood, Fla.
According to Judge Scriven, Goble who was president of North American Clearing, did a “sham” sale in May 2008, involving $5 million of money placed by customers in money market funds. Goble wired $3.4 million to his firm’s account to pay for operating expenses.
“Even as late as the trial in this matter, Goble insists that he is blameless and denies the import of his conduct vis-à-vis the patently fraudulent May 13, 2008, transaction,” Judge Scriven said in her ruling on Thursday. “Although his licenses have all expired and the likelihood of his acquiring future licensing is slim, the court finds that a court-imposed injunction would provide a further disincentive for Goble to attempt to secure a license or attempt to engage in the securities business under the licenses of others.”
The SEC, which spearheaded the case, had been seeking a fine of $130,000 during a bench trial Scriven held for Goble in May 2010.
Goble co-founded the Financial Industry Association, which tried to run independent candidates for the board and district committees of FINRA.
In 2006, when the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers were merging their regulatory structures to create FINRA, the FIA had called for the resignation of Mary Schapiro who was then chief executive officer of NASD on the grounds the merger would tilt the composition of the new board in favor of membership by executives at large brokerage firms.
Goble did win a seat on FINRA’s board, however, in 2007. He resigned in 2008.
Robert Siriani, an attorney representing Goble with the Brownstone law firm in Winter Park, Fla., said that Goble was considering appealing the ruling.