05 September 2018 at 15:00 BST

JonesTrading general counsel fired after arrest for sex with a minor

Equities and derivatives broker-dealer JonesTrading Institutional Services fired firm after 'appalling charges.'

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Jason Lavender, aged 44, has pleaded not guilty to six felony counts, including two counts of lewd act upon a child and four counts related to sex acts with a person under 16, according to court records, and was released after posting $240,000 bail

Appalling charges

The Westlake Village California firm terminated Mr Lavender's employment the day after the arrest. Chief operating officer Steve Chmielewski sent a memo to the firm’s employees stating that Mr Lavender was no longer working at JonesTrading, according to a copy of the memo seen by Bloomberg. Chief executive officer Alan Hill said in a statement, ‘Mr. Lavender, who had worked at JonesTrading for less than 5 months, was terminated immediately once we became aware of the appalling charges that were filed against him.’ He added, ‘these charges were unrelated to JonesTrading’s workplace. Given the sensitivity of this matter and out of respect for anyone affected by his alleged actions, we are unable to comment further.’ The alleged acts took place over a two-month period.

Early deposition

Mr Lavender is due back in court September 18 for an early deposition conference where prosecutors and his lawyers will discuss the possibility of a guilty plea. If convicted, Mr Lavender faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison, though, as he is without a criminal record, he is not expected to receive the maximum sentence. Prior to JonesTrading, Mr Lavender was a senior corporate counsel for Charles Schwab’’s broker-dealer subsidiary.

 
   
 
 
 

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