Thomas Shannon Ensign has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for using a customers money to pay a personal debt. In April of 2010, Ensign owed approximately $23,000 on his personal credit card, but did not have enough money to cover the bill. However, he was expecting a $65,000 IRS tax refund, which he planned to use to pay the credit card bill.
Allegedly, he contacted an Ameriprise customer and told him that he knew of a restaurant owner seeking a short-term investor and would repay at 20%. Ensign also told the customer that he was going to personally invest $40,000. On April 30, 2010 the customer wired $40,000 from his broker account to Ensigns personal bank account. Ensign transferred $23,000 of the customers money to his bank account and then used it to pay his credit card bill. He then wired $44,000 to the customers account to repay the principal and $4,000 in interest.
FINRA found that Ensign violated several rules including improperly using a customers funds to pay personal financial obligations and failing to comply with requests for documents and information. Ensign is barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.