Published on:

Allstate Financial Services Broker Suspended by FINRA for Forging Customers’ Signatures

William Kerschbaumer, a broker formerly employed by the Carrollton, Ohio branch of Allstate Financial Services, LLC, submitted a letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the entry of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he forged two customers’ signatures without the customers’ knowledge or consent.

William Fredrick Kerschbaumer Jr., of New Philadelphia, Ohio, was found by FINRA to have forged the signatures of two customers on four documents which were related to their annuity investments.  FINRA’s findings state that Mr. Kerschbaumer forged a customer’s signature on two variable annuity distribution forms and, approximately three months later, again forged the same customer’s signature on a letter requesting restoration of a rider to an annuity investment without the customer’s knowledge or consent.  Further, FINRA found that Mr. Kerschbaumer forged the signature of a second customer on a letter to the firm requesting a distribution from the IRA account of the customer’s ex-husband, once again without the customer’s knowledge or consent.

Consequently, FINRA assessed Mr. Kerschbaumer a deferred fine of $12,500 and suspended him from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for one year.  The suspension is in effect from September 6, 2016 through September 5, 2017.

Stockbrokers, registered representatives, and other financial industry professionals have been known to engage in many types of fraudulent and unlawful behavior, such as forgery of documents and/or unauthorized transfers of funds, which violate industry rules and procedures.  In order to protect investors from such 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 these protective measures, they may be liable to account holders for losses flowing from the misconduct.  Therefore, investors who have suffered losses stemming from account document falsifications and/or forgery can bring forth claims to recover damages against broker-dealers, like Allstate Financial Services, which should consistently oversee its brokers’ activities in order to prevent the above-described prohibited conduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Allstate Financial Services account due to unauthorized activity by your broker?  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 Allstate Financial Services stockbrokers who may have engaged in misconduct and caused investment 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.