The following information appeared on FINRA’s website under “Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions, May, 2013.”

Ronald Wayne Lankford (CRD #1751588, Registered Principal, Tampa, Florida)

was suspended from association with any FINRA member firm in any principal capacity other than as a FINOP (Series 27) and Introducing Broker-Dealer/FINOP (Series 28) for 18 months; suspended from association with any FINRA member firm in a principal capacity as a FINOP (Series 27) and Introducing Broker-Dealer/FINOP (Series 28) for one month; and ordered to re-qualify as a principal by passing the required examination(s) before re-associating with any member firm in that capacity. In light of Lankford’s financial status, no monetary sanction has been imposed.

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Lankford consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he was aware of and permitted the sales of unregistered promissory notes by his member firm’s representatives, failed to ensure that the notes were either registered or exempt from registration, and failed to ensure that all material facts were disclosed to investors who were offered and sold the promissory notes.

FINRA’s findings stated that when a preferred stock private placement offering began, Lankford, as his firm’s president and CCO, was responsible for approving the private placements and for conducting due diligence, but failed to conduct adequate due diligence regarding the preferred stock offering to ensure that the PPM disclosed all material facts to investors.

When subsequent material events occurred, Lankford did not suspend sales of the preferred stock pending the creation and receipt of an amended PPM (Private Placement Memorandum is document explaining a new offering of securities for private placement), and instead allowed the continued sale of the preferred stock by representatives using the original PPM without any amendment.

FINRA’s findings also stated that Lankford had the overall supervisory responsibility for the sales representatives and the firm’s sales activities, and allowed firm representatives to sell the preferred stock with a PPM that had material misrepresentations and omitted material facts. Lankford admitted to FINRA that although he was responsible for supervision of the firm’s OSJ principal, he did not discharge this responsibility. Lankford failed to supervise representatives selling the preferred stock to ensure all material facts were adequately and accurately disclosed to investors.

FINRA’s findings also included that Lankford, as the firm’s president, CCO and FINOP, allowed it to engage in a securities business while failing to maintain its minimum net capital. FINRA found that Lankford failed to make and keep a current and accurate general ledger that showed all of the firm’s liabilities, and prepared inaccurate net capital computations for the firm.

The suspension in a principal capacity as a FINOP (Series 27) and Introducing Broker-Dealer/FINOP (Series 28) was in effect from April 1, 2013, through April 30, 2013. The suspension in any principal capacity (other than as a FINOP (Series 27) and Introducing Broker-Dealer/FINOP (Series 28) is in effect from April 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014. (FINRA Case #2010020829803)

According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Ronald Wayne Lankford is currently employed by and registered with the following FINRA Firm:

SPARTAN SECURITIES GROUP, LTD.
15500 ROOSEVELT BOULEVARD, SUITE 303
CLEARWATER, FL 33760
CRD# 104478
Registered with this firm since: 2/14/2012

This broker was previously registered with FINRA at the following brokerage firms:

SAGE SOUTHEASTERN SECURITIES, INC.
CRD# 144051
ATLANTA, GA
02/2010 – 09/2011

FIRST LEGACY SECURITIES, LLC
CRD# 47079
VESTAVIA HILLS, AL
09/2007 – 03/2010

JONES, BYRD, & ATTKISSON, INC.
CRD# 36268
ATLANTA, GA
04/2006 – 02/2008

This ends the information obtained on FINRA’s website.

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