The Securities and Exchange Commission has censured an Atlanta online brokerage that had been marketing itself to community banks.
Its chief executive officer W. Jonathan Wride was fined $5,000 after the SEC found that his brokerage then known as Ashtin Kelly Inc. sold $4.5 million of securities last year from two initial public offerings before they were legally allowed to do so.
The agency also leveled a $20,000 fine against the brokerage, which was renamed E-Invest this year.
Mr. Wride has been soliciting community banks to offer E-Invests investment services through their Web sites. In an interview in July he said 12 community banks had signed contracts with the brokerage, but he refused to name them.
Calls to company officials were not returned Friday.
John Walker, a senior account supervisor at Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, E-Invests publicist, said his company stopped handling the account last month, but he refused to comment further.
It is unclear whether the firm is still operating. John Mattimore, a spokesman at the SECs Miami office, which handled the case against Mr. Wride and E-Invest, said his agency stopped short of revoking the firms trading license. An official at the National Association of Securities Dealers in Washington said it had not been notified of a closing.
The SEC censured E-Invest for public offerings for two Florida banking companies $78 million-asset Marine Bancshares in Marathon and $17 million-asset Suncoast Bancorp in Sarasota. Both offerings took place, and the companies stocks are traded on Nasdaq.