The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined and suspended Karen Lee Chafe, a former Berthel, Fisher & Co. Financial Services, Inc. (Berthel Fisher) registered representative in its Melbourne Beach, Florida offices, for admitting to altering customers’ variable annuity withdrawal forms and IRA distribution/withdrawal request forms. According to FINRA, Karen Chafe, a/k/a Karen Lee Linscott, modified and resubmitted withdrawal request forms at least 61 times on behalf of 14 customers.
According to FINRA’s Default Judgment, Karen Chafe reused old customer forms, whited out or obscured existing information, added new information, and then submitted the altered forms as originals to Berthel Fisher over a period of six years. Although Karen Chafe was authorized to make the withdrawals and distributions, she did not have the customers’ authorization to submit altered forms. Karen Chafe has been assessed a deferred fine of $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for a year. The suspension is in effect from June 16, 2014 through June 15, 2015. Continue reading →