Argo’s Joel Vincent Newcomb banned for life by NFA

Rick Steves

The complaint issued by NFA’s Business Conduct Committee in August 2020 alleged that Argo failed to disclose the impact of so-called “commission rebates” on the profit potential of pool participants, and the extent of fees and commissions that would be charged, and their significant impact on the pool.

NFA vs IBFX yet again!

The NFA has ordered former commodity pool operator Argo Wealth Management never to reapply for membership or act as a principal of an NFA Member.

The firm’s associate Joel Vincent Newcomb was also banned for life, while associate Daniel Morris Miller was banned for three years.

The complaint issued by NFA’s Business Conduct Committee in August 2020 alleged that Argo failed to disclose the impact of so-called “commission rebates” on the profit potential of pool participants, and the extent of fees and commissions that would be charged, and their significant impact on the pool.

The firm used deceptive and misleading promotional material and claimed a customer’s overall costs would be lower if the customer invested in the Argo pool, the NFA alleged.

The case ended in a settlement in which Argo, Joel Vincent Newcomb, and Daniel Morris Miller neither admitted nor denied the allegations.

Mr. Miller may still reapply for NFA membership following the three-year ban if he pays a $100,000 fine, but he will be subject to certain restrictions for an additional two years if he is again granted NFA membership status.

The NFA has recently increased the maximum monetary penalty to $500,000 per rule violation. The previous maximum size was $250,000 per violation. This increase is intended to further deter violations of NFA requirements and provide NFA’s disciplinary panels with the flexibility needed in assessing penalties.

NFA explained that it has not encountered any issues with the current maximum penalty fine amount, but figured it should update the amount given it was last increased in 1990.

The rules now read: “The Business Conduct Committee, BCC Panel or Hearing Panel, or the Appeals Committee on appeal or review, may at the conclusion of the disciplinary proceeding impose one or more of the following penalties:

(ii) Bar or suspension for a specified period from association with a Member;

(iii) Censure or reprimand;

(iv) A monetary fine, not to exceed $500,000 per violation;

(v) Order to cease and desist; and

(vi) Any other fitting penalty or remedial action not inconsistent with this rule.”

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