A Utah-based broker-dealer agreed to pay $100,000, hire an independent anti-money laundering (AML) consultant, and be censured for allegedly failing to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) on certain transactions over a two-year period.
From March 2017 through May 2019, Cambria Capital “failed to properly investigate certain suspicious conduct, failed to investigate certain red flags, and ultimately failed to file SARs when required,” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in its order filed Thursday.
During the relevant period, Cambria specialized in the liquidation of microcap securities. With many of these transactions, the pattern of liquidations often occurred in combination with red flags including “unusually large deposits, suspicious wire activity, or multiple accounts simultaneously trading in the same microcap security,” per the SEC.
Cambria also failed to report red flags identified in the firm’s AML policies and procedures, according to the SEC.
The agency’s order found Cambria violated certain sections of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requiring registered broker-dealers to comply with the reporting, record-keeping, and record retention requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act. Cambria neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings in reaching settlement.
Cambria did not respond to a request for comment.