Published on:

AXA Advisors Broker Suspended by FINRA for Forging Customer Signatures and Unsuitable REIT Recommendations

Eric Erb, a General Securities Representative formerly employed with the Babylon, NY branch of AXA Advisors, LLC, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the described sanctions and the entry of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he forged and copied customer signatures, misrepresented material information on the purchase forms of eight customers, and made unsuitable recommendations to a 74 year old retiree.

FINRA’s findings state that Eric Christopher Erb, of Bay Shore, New York, used photocopied signatures to open three customer accounts and forged the initials and signatures of two other customers in connection with securities purchases.  Further, Mr. Erb photocopied his branch manager’s signature on approval forms related to these securities purchases.  FINRA also found that Mr. Erb misrepresented or omitted material information to eight customers by noting on purchase forms that they would not incur surrender charges, redemption fees or costs for relinquishing their annuity contracts.  According to FINRA, however, these customers incurred fees and penalties ranging from $3,000 to $12,000.

Mr. Erb also made unsuitable investment recommendations to a 74 year old retiree.  According to FINRA, Mr. Erb recommended that his customer surrender two annuities in order to purchase approximately $147,000 in an illiquid, non-traded real-estate investment trust (REIT).  Given his client’s investment objective and risk tolerance, combined with the fact that this investment placed more than half of the client’s liquid net worth in a single, high-risk, alternative investment, Mr. Erb’s recommendation was unsuitable and in violation of FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010.

As a result of the above-described misconduct, Mr. Erb was assessed a deferred fine of $20,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for eighteen months. The suspension is in effect from March 7, 2016 through September 6, 2017.

Stockbrokers, registered representatives, and other financial professionals have been known to engage in many types of fraudulent and prohibited behavior which violate industry rules and procedures.  In order to protect investors from such stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require broker-dealers to establish and implement a supervisory system in order to safeguard customers.  If broker-dealers and their supervisors do not establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to account holders for investment losses.  As a result, account holders who have suffered losses stemming from a registered representative’s unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentations or forged signatures can file a claim to recover damages against broker-dealers, like AXA Advisors, which have a duty to supervise its employees in order to prevent stockbroker misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your AXA Advisors account due to forged account documents, a misrepresented investment, or other stockbroker 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 AXA Advisors stockbrokers who may have engaged in misconduct and caused investors losses.

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 35 years, 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 visit our website, www.secatty.com, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at pearce@rwpearce.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.