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Award Date: June 16, 2022
Hearing Site: Boston, Massachusetts
Respondent Firm: John Hancock Distributors LLC
Claimant Representative: Doc Kennedy, MBA, J.D.
A Louisiana-based advisor had one disclosure on his record — a Form U5 termination from 2009 alleging that he had “altered” a client’s variable annuity policy form. He hired AdvisorLaw to seek expungement of the disclosure through FINRA Dispute Resolution.
Our advisor joined the firm as an internal annuity wholesaler in 2006, and he was trained by his colleagues to assist external wholesalers with setting up variable annuity contracts. An agent asked our advisor to assist a customer with an annuity application. The advisor mailed the pertinent form to the customer, and the customer signed it twice. However, the customer inadvertently failed to check one of two boxes on the form to indicate whether he owned any existing annuities or insurance. When our advisor received the form and saw that the box had been left unchecked, he checked the box himself to mirror the information that had been electronically entered. After the application was submitted, the firm’s system identified the contract as having no signature on file. The advisor was questioned by management and told not to be concerned, yet the advisor chose to resign. Upon submitting his resignation, he was told that he was being suspended without pay. The firm then published a Form U5 employment separation after the allegations, and the advisor ended up with a disclosure on his public record.
The FINRA Arbitrator listened to the advisor’s testimony at the hearing and heard arguments presented by Doc Kennedy, MBA, J.D. Determining that the allegations were of a defamatory nature, the Arbitrator recommended that the reason for termination of the advisor’s records is changed to “voluntary” and that all references to the termination explanation be deleted in their entirety.
Once the expungement process is completed, our advisor will be back to having a perfect record with no disclosures whatsoever.
If you’d like to learn more about AdvisorLaw’s FINRA Disclosure Expungement services, please fill out the contact form below. Our consultations are complimentary, and our services were created exclusively for financial advisors.
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