Articles Tagged with MetLife Securities

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Jose Perez, a representative formerly employed with MetLife Securities, Inc. (MetLife), submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he directed his assistant to impersonate his customer, while he impersonated the customer’s brother, in order to effect a transfer of funds.

FINRA’s findings state that while employed by MetLife Securities, Jose J. Perez, of Orland Park, Illinois, was advised that his customer was retiring and asked that he transfer pension funds held by a third-party company to her MetLife account.  In an attempt to accommodate the customer’s request, Mr. Perez and his assistant telephoned the third-party company and, instead of using their real names, Mr. Perez allegedly impersonated the customer’s brother and his assistant allegedly impersonated the customer.  According to FINRA, Mr. Perez and his assistant directed the third-party company to transfer funds to the MetLife account, but failed to realize that the customer held two retirement accounts with the company.  Consequently, the funds transferred were funds from the customer’s 401(k) account rather than the pension account. Continue reading →

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Winston Turner, a former broker at Pruco Securities LLC, and MetLife Securities, Inc., was permanently barred from acting as a broker or associating with firms that sell securities to the public by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) due to findings that he made fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions in connection with variable annuity investments.    FINRA found that Winston Turner, of Tampa, Florida, induced three customers to purchase securities by intentionally making misstatements regarding the earnings to be generated by their variable annuities.

According to FINRA, Mr. Turner falsely told three customers that their variable annuity investments would earn a “guaranteed” minimum annual interest and misrepresented to a customer the tax implications of her variable annuity purchase.  FINRA also found that Mr. Turner attempted to circumvent his member firm’s supervisory system by misrepresenting the source of funds in connections with variable annuity applications.  Further, Mr. Turner misrepresented to his firm his personal email address as the email address of his customers in order to ensure that the customers were not contacted. Continue reading →

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Thomas Vigil, a General Securities Representative formerly employed with the Warwick, Rhode Island branch of Signator Investors, Inc. (Signator) and the Westboro, Massachusetts branch of MetLife Securities, Inc. (MetLife), submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he impersonated a customer to obtain an annuity surrender form, falsified account documents, and forged a customer’s signature all without the customers’ knowledge or consent.  Mr. Vigil consented to the sanctions described below.

FINRA’s findings state that while employed by Signator, Thomas A. Vigil, of Saunderstown, Rhode Island, falsified a 403(b) rollover form for one of his customers by whiting out the date from an earlier, validly signed form and writing in the current date.  Mr. Vigil allegedly did this without the customer’s knowledge or consent.  Furthermore, Mr. Vigil allegedly forged the signature of another customer on a change of broker-dealer form without the customer’s knowledge or consent.  In both instances, FINRA found that Mr. Vigil, when asked about the falsified documents, initially denied the actions, but later acknowledged the misconduct.  FINRA also found that while employed by MetLife Securities, Mr. Vigil impersonated a customer on a call to an insurance company to obtain an annuity surrender form.  Continue reading →

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) slammed MetLife Securities, Inc. (MetLife) with a $25 million fine for negligent misrepresentations and omissions to customers regarding the costs and guarantees relating to variable annuities.  MetLife agreed to the fine, which includes a $20 million fine and $5 million to be paid to customers, without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings.

From approximately 2009 to 2014, FINRA found that MetLife falsely told customers that new variable annuities were less costly than the annuities they were replacing.  Further, MetLife made the replacement annuities appear more beneficial to the customer when they were typically more expensive.  According to FINRA, MetLife sold at least 43 billion in variable annuities which generated $152 million in gross dealer commissions for the firm.  Nonetheless, MetLife failed to supervise its registered representatives to ensure they were property trained and informed of the comparative analysis between the variable annuities and the recommended replacement annuities.  In fact, FINRA found that MetLife principals approved 99.79% of the variable annuity replacements, even though three-quarters (3/4) of the replacement applications contained at least one misrepresentation or omission. Continue reading →

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined a dozen independent broker-dealers (IBDs) for failing to give their clients the proper discounts available to them, known as breakpoint discounts, on sales of unit investment trusts (UITs). They were also cited for related supervisory failures. Some of the biggest fines were levied against First Allied Securities Inc. (First Allied), Fifth Third Securities Inc. (Fifth Third), Securities America Inc. (Securities America), Cetera Advisors LLC (Cetera Advisors), and Park Avenue Securities LLC (Park Avenue).

FINRA ordered the 12 firms to pay both fines and restitution totaling $6.7 million. The other firms sanctioned were: Commonwealth Financial Network (Commonwealth Financial), MetLife Securities Inc. (MetLife), Comerica Securities (Comerica), Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Ameritas Investment Corp. (Ameritas), Infinex Investments Inc. (Infinex), and The Huntington Investment Company (Huntington Investment). Continue reading →