Deborah Kelley: Barred after Allegations of Participating in “Pay to Play Scheme”

Deborah KelleyPublicly available records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on April 14, 2017 indicate that former California-based Seaport Global Securities broker Deborah Kelley has been sanctioned by FINRA and barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Ms. Kelley (CRD# 1179082).

Deborah Kelley has spent 30 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Seaport Global Securities in San Francisco, California. Previous registrations include Stifel Nicolaus & Company in San Francisco, California; Sterne Agee & Leach in San Francisco, California; MF Global in San Francisco, California; Piper Jaffray & Company in San Francisco, California; BNP Paribas Securities in San Francisco, California. ABN Amro in Stamford, Connecticut; Everen Securities in St. Louis, Missouri; Prescott Ball & Turben; and Dean Witter Reynolds. She is currently not registered with any state or firm.

According to his BrokerCheck report, Deborah Kelley has been sanctioned by FINRA and is the subject of pending criminal and civil charges.

In March 2017 FINRA sanctioned Deborah Kelley following allegations she “refused to appear for on-the-record testimony as requested by FINRA in connection with allegations that she improperly provided gifts and entertainment to a portfolio manager of a public pension fund and misrepresented the nature of the expenses submitted for reimbursement.” She was barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public.

In December 2016, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission announced fraud charges against her in connection to allegations she participated in a “pay-to-play scheme” in which a pension fund official “used his position to direct up to $2.5 billion in state business to Deborah Kelley and another individual, who were registered representatives at two different broker-dealers.” The SEC alleged further: “In exchange for this lucrative business, which netted Kelley and the other representative millions of dollars in commissions, the brokers provided the official with tens of thousands of dollars in benefits. According to the SEC’s complaint, the official, as a fiduciary to the Fund, had a duty to disclose his solicitation and receipt of the gifts and entertainment he received from Kelley and the representative but failed to do so. Kelley and the representative knew the official was not disclosing his activities to the Fund, and they took steps to keep the benefits a secret.” She has been charged with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, and with aiding and abetting the director’s violations. The charges remain pending.

In December 2016, she was charged in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York with five felony counts: Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud, Securities Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Wire Fraud, Honest Services Wire Fraud, and Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice in the SEC Investigation. The charges remain pending.

If you have lost money investing with Deborah Kelley, you may be entitled to recoup your losses. Call Fitapelli Kurta at 877-238-4175 for a free consultation. All cases are taken on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if and when you collect money. Time to file your claim may be limited, so we encourage you to avoid delay. Call 877-238-4175 now to speak to an attorney for free.