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FINRA Regional Director Resigns as Prior Bingo Fraud Indictment Revealed
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Last week, Mitchell C. Atkins, who was a regional director and head of FINRA’s District 7, in Boca Raton, Florida, resigned after evidence about him surfaced about a 1993 indictment in Louisiana “for felony theft and charitable bingo fraud.” The indictment was by the 19th Judicial District in East Baton Rouge Parish, LA.

Former securities broker David Evansen sent the information on May 21 in a 4-page letter addressed to Richard Ketchum, the chief executive officer of FINRA and to Susan Axelrod, the executive vice president of regulatory operations of FINRA.

The indictment, which was confirmed by the clerk’s office for the East Baton Rouge Parish court, showed that Atkins had pleaded guilty to one charge of charitable bingo fraud. He was sentenced to a year on probation, $1000 in fines and a hundred hours of community service.

  
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A spokeswoman for FINRA, Nancy Condon, told the media that “Mitch Atkins resigned to pursue other interests.”

In his letter to the FINRA executives, Evansen, who had been banned from brokerage by FINRA, alleged that he had been banned because of a whistleblower complaint he filed with the SEC alleging fraud in a Texas clearinghouse.

Evansen observed in the letter concerning his ban and Atkins’ previous indictment for fraud, that “It was for no small purpose, that Mr. Atkins and FINRA, went to such lengths, to prevent the sunlight from illuminating the truth.”

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The ostensible reason for banning Evansen from continuing his brokerage business was that he had failed to respond to a request for information. Evansen is currently in the process of appealing the ban imposed upon him in June 2011.

FINRA or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which is overseen by the SEC, has the power to ban registered brokers from the securities industry.





 

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