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FINRA Fines and Suspends Allen St. Amour for Selling Away Equity Indexed Annuities

Allen Wayne St. Amour, a former Traverse City, Michigan-based registered representative employed by Springfield, Massachusetts-based MML Investors Services, LLC and New York, New York-based NYLIFE Securities LLC, was fined and suspended based on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he sold equity indexed annuities to his member firm’s customers without giving prior written notice to the firm. Mr. St. Amour allegedly received a total of $114,030 in compensation for the sales. FINRA’s findings also stated that Mr. St. Amour signed a customer’s name on documents related to the purchase of variable annuities in contravention of his firm’s rules and without receiving the customer’s written authorization to sign the customer’s name. Mr. St. Amour allegedly submitted the documents to his firm without informing anyone that he had signed the customer’s name. FINRA’s findings further stated that Mr. St. Amour failed to amend his Form U4 to disclose a fine the Indiana Commissioner of Insurance had imposed.

Mr. St. Amour was fined a total of $22,500, suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for a total of six months, and ordered to disgorge $114,030 in commissions. The fines and disgorgement are due and payable if he reenters the securities industry. His suspension is in effect from January 20, 2014, through July 20, 2014.

“Selling away” is the inappropriate practice of an investment professional who sells or solicits securities or investments not held, approved, or authorized by the brokerage firm with which the professional is associated. Under NASD and FINRA rules, brokerage firms must approve investments offered by their investment professionals and supervise its sales.

Stockbrokers, registered representatives, and other financial industry personnel have been known to engage in many types of fraud and other violations of industry rules, practices, and procedures. In order to protect customers from broker misconduct, FINRA rules require broker-dealers to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system. The implementation of the rules requires supervisors to monitor employees to ensure they comply with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, as well as the brokerage firm’s own policies and procedures. If broker-dealers and their supervisors do not establish and implement such protective measures, they may be a liable to account holders for damages flowing from the misconduct. As a result, investors who have suffered losses stemming from unapproved investments and/or other types of misconduct by their broker or registered representative can bring forth claims to recover damages against broker-dealers like MML Investors Services and NYLIFE Securities, which have a duty to oversee its employees in order to prevent these types of stockbroker misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your investment account due to your registered representative or stockbroker’s misconduct? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against stockbrokers for unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentations, and/or other unauthorized and illegal conduct.

The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over , Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities, and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, send Mr. Pearce an email at pearce@rwpearce.com, and/or visit our website at www.secatty.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.