Impersonating presidents and celebrities well can be comic gold. Impersonating your brokerage customers is not good at all.

Shawn Paris Patrick, a Cincinnati-based dually registered rep with Transamerica Financial Advisors (TFA) for more than a decade, has learned that lesson the hard way. Patrick was sanctioned and fined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (Finra) for impersonating four different customers, according to a settlement the self-regulator published today on BrokerCheck.

Without admitting to or denying the charges, Patrick signed a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent with Finra, which imposed a 14-day sanction and a $5,000 fine on him for the alleged violations, Finra said.

According to Finra, in February 2020, “while associated with TFA, Patrick met with individual participants in a 401(k) plan. Four of those individuals requested his assistance making changes to their accounts, including reallocating account holdings.

“On February 21 and 24, 2020, Patrick made four separate calls to the firm that administered the 401(k) plan. During those calls, Patrick posed as the customers and, while doing so, made the requested changes to the customers’ account allocations,” Finra said.

Patrick was accused of violating FINRA Rule 2010, which requires associated persons to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade in the conduct of their business, the regulator said.

In determining what sanctions were appropriate, Finra said it considered that TFA had already suspended Patrick for 14 days and fined him $7,500 when the firm discovered the violations. The regulator learned of Patrick’s alleged violations when TFA reported them, Finra added.

TFA did not respond to a request for comment by deadline. Attempts to reach Patrick via LinkedIn and through TFA’s Cincinnati branch were not immediately successful.

Patrick has been in the securities industry since 1985. “Since that time, Patrick has been continuously registered in both capacities through associations with multiple Finra member firms, most recently Transamerica Financial Advisors, with which he has been associated since January 2012,” Finra said.

Patrick has two other disclosures on his BrokerCheck report. There was a misunderstanding about tax and penalties with a customer’s IRA withdrawal in 2008, but the complaint was denied. Patrick was also accused of misappropriating three commission checks from a Primerica (now PFS Investments Inc.) rep in 1996. The status of the dispute is closed and Patrick voluntarily resigned his position with the firm “to pursue another opportunity,” he wrote in the broker comment section of his BrokerCheck report.