Fight Investment Fraud
Greco & Greco's lawyers represent investors to recover losses caused by securities fraud, churning, lack of suitability, negligence, sales of unregistered securities, unauthorized trading, and other misconduct by stock brokers, investment advisors, financial planners and their firms.
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Prudential Fined for Failure to Supervise Fraudulent Withdrawals From Variable Annuity
FINRA fined Prudential Annuities Distributors $950,000 this month for its failure to detect and prevent the theft by its agent, Travis Wetzel, of almost $1,300,000 from a customer's variable annuity. The FINRA Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent may be found here.
Mr. Wetzel, who was a former registered representative of LPL Financial, allegedly submitted multiple forged wire transfer requests from the variable annuity, to be paid to a third party account in Mr. Wetzel's wife's maiden name.
FINRA alleged that Prudential failed to investigate red flags and audits associated with the repeated payments to third parties. FINRA stated "PAD failed to establish and maintain reasonable supervisory procedures and controls to supervise third-party distributions and prevent fraudulent withdrawals from VA accounts."
Although the FINRA press release states that the victim was repaid her losses, brokerage firms do not always voluntarily do so in broker theft cases. Greco & Greco has extensive experience in broker theft and forged withdrawal/wire cases. Although the individual thief may not have the funds to return the stolen monies, the associated firms required to supervise the activities of their agents may be found responsible under multiple legal theories. If you are the victim of a fraudulent theft, wire, or withdrawal, please contact Scott Greco for a free attorney consultation about your case.
Washington DC Investment Advisor Dawn Bennett Barred by SEC
As set out in this SEC Order from an Administrative Law Judge (https://www.sec.gov/alj/aljdec/2016/id1033jeg.pdf), Dawn Bennett has been barred from the securities industry by the SEC. Dawn Bennett was a Washington DC area advisor who was previously registered to sell securities with Western International Securities.
Judge Grimes also imposed over one million dollars of fines and disgorgement against Ms. Bennett. The findings in the above Order included the following:
"Respondents repeatedly overstated their AUM [Assets Under Management] by at least $1.5 billion in Barron’s magazine, on a radio show hosted by Bennett, and in various other advertisements and communications with existing and prospective clients to create the impression that Respondents were larger and more successful players in the industry than was actually the case."
Judge Grimes' Order ultimately found that "Respondents made multiple material misstatements with scienter regarding AUM and investor performance. They therefore violated Securities Act Section 17(a)(1) and (2), Exchange Act Section 10(b), and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5(a), (b), and (c)."
Greco & Greco is a law firm located in the Virginia, DC, Maryland area representing investors against securities brokerage firms and advisors involving cases of securities fraud, unsuitable investments, misstatements, churning, and other investment fraud causes of action. We have previously represented harmed investors in FINRA arbitration proceedings against Ms. Bennett and Western International Securities. If you would like to discuss potential claims, please contact Scott Greco for a free consultation (http://www.securities-lawyers.net/contact.html).
Most recent entries
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- Washington DC Investment Advisor Dawn Bennett Barred by SEC
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