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Ameritas Broker Fined and Suspended by FINRA for Borrowing Money from Elderly Customer

Thomas Lawrence, a former registered representative associated with Ameritas Investment Corp. (Ameritas), submitted an Offer of Settlement to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he consented to, without admitting or denying, the findings that he borrowed money from a 96 year old customer and has not repaid the loan.

Thomas H. Lawrence III, of Chapel Hill, Tennessee, allegedly borrowed more than $39,000 from one of his customers, a 96 year old retiree.  The elderly customer allegedly agreed to provide the loan and Mr. Lawrence drafted and signed a promissory note stating the terms of repayment.  According to FINRA, Mr. Lawrence did not repay any portion of the loan, nor did he have any discussion with the customer about repaying the loan.  Further, FINRA found that Mr. Lawrence hasn’t even spoken to the elderly customer since early 2014.  Mr. Lawrence never notified his member firm before obtaining the loan, as it was prohibited except for immediate family members. Due to the afore-mentioned misconduct, Thomas Lawrence was suspended from association with any FINRA member for two years, fined $5,000, and ordered to pay restitution of $41,332.65, plus interest to the affected customer. 

Stockbrokers and other financial industry professionals have been known to engage in different types of misconduct which violate industry and firm rules, practices, and procedures.  In order to protect customers from stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require broker dealers to establish and implement a supervisory system.  The implementation of these rules require supervisors to monitor employees to ensure they comply with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, and the brokerage firm’s own policies and procedures.  If broker dealers and/or their supervisors do not establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to investors for damages flowing from the misconduct.  As a result, investors who have suffered losses because of their stockbroker’s prohibited conduct can file a claim to recover damages against broker dealers, like Ameritas, which should consistently oversee its employees in order to prevent stockbroker misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Ameritas investment account due to your stockbroker’s prohibited conduct?  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 Ameritas stockbrokers for unauthorized stockbroker misconduct.

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 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.