SEC to investigate former Ferris, Baker Watts counsel
The Securities and Exchange Commission Monday said it would hold a hearing into allegations that Theodore W. Urban, former general counsel of Ferris, Baker Watts Inc., had failed to properly supervise a broker who has since been convicted of securities fraud. Urban, 58, of Silver Spring had repeatedly been warned about unauthorized trades and the questionable activities of broker Stephen Glantz, yet ignored them, the SEC said. Glantz, who worked for Ferris for nearly three years, pleaded guilty in 2007 to securities fraud and lying to law enforcement officials. The SEC claims that Urban, who also supervised Ferris' compliance department, knew of many complaints against Glantz before Ferris hired the broker, yet Urban and other executives gave Glantz greater freedom than other brokers at the company. In December 2004, Urban recommended that Glantz be fired for unsuitable trades in customer accounts, but later retracted that position and agreed with vice chairman Louis Akers that Glantz should be placed on special supervision, the SEC said. Urban's attorney, John H. Sturc, said his client will contest the allegations. "Mr. Urban's conduct as legal counsel for Ferris, Baker Watts was appropriate and reasonable. He was never Mr. Glantz' supervisor; others were," Sturc said. The lawyer said Urban recommended that Glantz be fired but "his advice wasn't followed." Ferris was acquired last year by RBC Wealth Management. Two other former Ferris executives, director of retail sales Patrick J. Vaughan and Akers, previously settled with the SEC.