Articles Tagged with suspended brokers

Ricardo Urrutia (CRD#: 5719923), a former broker with Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc. (CRD#: 611) in Paramus, New Jersey,  has been suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after he failed to comply with an arbitration award, according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on April 21, 2020. 

Ricardo Urrutia
On March 31, 2020, FINRA suspended Ricardo Urrutia after he failed to comply with an arbitration award and did not satisfactorily respond to FINRA’s request for information after the self-regulatory organization looked into his compliance. Ricardo Urrutia lost an arbitration with AXA Advisors LLC and AXA Network LLC, his former employers. In the Statement of Claim, AXA Advisors and AXA Network alleged that Ricardo Urrutia breached his promissory note agreement with the firm. The firms are also seeking the return of unearned commissions from Ricardo Urrutia. The arbitration award mandated that Ricardo Urrutia pay the firms $56,746.34 plus interest and attorneys’ fees. A copy of the arbitration award can be viewed here. Ricardo Urrutia’s suspension will begin on March 31, 2020 and continue indefinitely until he pays the arbitration award.

Ricardo Urrutia has passed the Series 65 – Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, the SIE – Securities Industry Essentials Examination, the Series 7 – General Securities Representative Examination, and the Series 6 – Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative Examination. 

Andy Grant (CRD#: 2709882), a registered representative with Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. in Melville, NY (CRD#: 119037), has been suspended from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on February 21, 2020.

What happened to lead to Andy Grant’s suspension from the securities industry? On January 17, 2020, Andy Grant entered into an Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent agreement with FINRA in which he consented to the entry of findings that he made discretionary trades in customer accounts without customer authorization. Andy Grant also consented to FINRA’s sanction: a 15-day suspension. The suspension will last from February 18, 2020 to March 9, 2020. FINRA also fined Andy Grant $5,000. A copy of Andy Grant’s AWC can be viewed here.

What does it mean to exercise discretion without authorization? Unauthorized trading happens when a broker trades within a non-discretionary account without letting their client know. Did your broker inform you before every trade they made in your portfolio? Did you recognize every trade listed on the monthly or quarterly statements your brokerage firm sent to you? If not, your broker may have exercised discretion without the proper approval, which is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010.

Jerry Wells (CRD#: 1015358), a registered representative with Sagepoint Financial, Inc. (CRD#: 133763) in Rochester, New York, has been suspended from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), according to his BrokerCheck record accessed on January 22, 2020.

Jerry Wells
On December 4, 2019, Jerry Wells entered into an Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) with FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, consenting to FINRA’s findings that he “falsely represented that variable annuities purchases were not variable annuities replacements.” FINRA found that he submitted variable annuity applications that falsely stated that the recommended variable annuities would not alter or replace any existing variable annuities. However, Wells knew that proceeds from other variable annuities were funding the recommended variable annuities. He also caused his firm to maintain inaccurate books and records by failing to complete the proper replacement forms. As a result, FINRA suspended Jerry Wells from the securities industry from January 6, 2020 to March 5, 2020. A copy of Jerry Wells’s AWC can be viewed here.

This is not the first time Jerry Wells has come under fire for potential misconduct related to variable annuities. On April 7, 2008, a client filed a customer complaint against Jerry Wells, alleging that a variable annuity she purchased in December 2007 was not suitable because of a seven-year surrender charge. The matter was settled for $7,860.62.

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