FINRA Expungement Award:

Advisor Expunges Three Customer Disputes, Clearing His Record

 

FINRA Expungement Award:

Advisor Expunges Three Customer Disputes, Clearing His Record

 

Award Date: August 5, 2021
Hearing Site: Dallas, Texas
Respondent Firm: Principal Securities, Inc.
Claimant Representative: Dochtor Kennedy, MBA, J.D., Harris Freedman, J.D., and Zack Morse, J.D.


Case Objective:

A Texas-based advisor who had been in the industry for 15 years had three customer dispute disclosures involving variable annuities on his public record. He engaged AdvisorLaw and sought expungement through FINRA Arbitration.


Case Summary:

In 2019, three customers raised disputes related to the step-up feature of their variable annuities’ guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit (GMWB). The customers had held the annuities for between 6 and 11 years before the complaints, which alleged unsuitability and misrepresentation. The advisor had fully explained the annuities and the GMWB step-up feature to the customers, and they had received, reviewed, and signed written materials explaining the details. The annuities had been recommended based on the fact that they were suitable for each of the customers, and the customers attested to the annuities’ suitability in writing.


Result:

The Arbitrator heard the testimony and reviewed the evidence pertaining to the claims. He determined that all of the customers had been adequately informed of the details of the annuities and that the annuities were suitable for each of the customers. Additionally, all three of the customers had had ample opportunity to address any issues or questions, yet all remained silent for years before claiming that the annuities were misrepresented or not suitable, back when they were purchased. The Arbitrator recommended expungement of all three disputes per FINRA Rule 2080, as they were factually impossible, clearly erroneous, and false.

The advisor has no other disclosures on his BrokerCheck record and may now enjoy the benefits of having a completely clean profile.




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