Regulator Bars Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Who Hid Venezuelan Bond Trades

By Dave Michaels Features Dow Jones Newswires

Wall Street's self-regulatory body has barred a former broker at Morgan Stanley from the industry over claims that he concealed $190 million in Venezuelan bond trades.

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John Batista Bocchino agreed to the discipline without admitting or denying the conduct, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Thursday. Mr. Bocchino masked the 300 trades using other accounts because Morgan Stanley had restricted purchases or sales of Venezuelan bonds due to regulatory, anti-money-laundering and reputational risks, Finra said.

Mr. Bocchino routed the trades through the accounts of five other financial institutions and brokerages without those firms' knowledge, Finra said. That made it appear to Morgan Stanley as if he were in compliance with its restrictions on such trades.

The ultimate customers included a foreign bank based in Venezuela, a regional investment bank based in Lima, Peru, and several brokerage firms that have previously been sanctioned for anti-money-laundering violations, Finra said in a settlement order.

Write to Dave Michaels at dave.michaels@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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June 01, 2017 11:31 ET (15:31 GMT)