BSG Financial settles SEC charges for $1.25 million
The SEC has announced that BGC Financial, L.P. has agreed to pay the Commission $1.25 million to settle charges that it failed to preserve audio files sought by the SEC and inaccurately recorded travel, entertainment, and other expenses.
The SEC’s order finds that after receiving document requests in 2014 from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, BGC deleted audio files for the recorded telephone lines of eight brokers that were responsive to the document requests. According to the order, the department responsible for maintaining voice recordings was unaware of the SEC’s request and deleted the files in keeping with the firm’s policy of not maintaining them after one year.
The SEC order also finds that BGC failed to maintain books and records that accurately recorded compensation, travel, entertainment, and gifts. BGC provided a high performing broker with season tickets for a New York-area sports team that cost more than $600,000 per year, and failed to record the payments for the tickets as compensation in its general ledger. BGC also reimbursed this same broker for more than $100,000 of expenses associated with an international trip for his birthday and other foreign travel that lacked a sufficiently documented business purpose. BGC inaccurately recorded these items in its books and records as selling and promotion. BGC also reimbursed a different broker for thousands of dollars of personal expenses spent on his birthday party, his bachelor party, and two separate trips to Las Vegas for his friends’ bachelor parties.
The Commission also censured BGC for its actions.