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Robert W Pearce
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Mr. Pearce has tried, arbitrated and mediated numerous disputes involving complex securities, commodities, administrative, contract, commercial, business tort and employment law issues for over 30 years. He has represented hundreds of clients in Federal and state courts (trial and appellate) as... More
My company:
The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A.
My blog:
The Investor's Rights Law Blog
    Oct 10, 2013 1:37 PM

    Jennifer Lynn Norman, a former registered representative at New York, New York based Merrill Lynch, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent in which she 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 while serving as a registered sales assistant with her firm, she altered information on letters of authorization (LOAs) submitted by firm customers pursuant to their verbal instructions, which caused the firm to maintain inaccurate business records. Ms. Norman also altered the amount of funds to be wired on one LOA. FINRA's findings stated that Ms. Norman received trade orders directly from firm customers and attempted to enter the trades in the firm electronic order system and properly coded each trade order as received directly from the customer. The trade order system rejected each trade because Ms. Norman was not permitted to enter trades directly from customers. Upon notice of each rejected trade, Ms. Norman changed the coding for each trade to "received order from financial adviser," which permitted her to enter and effect the execution of the orders. The findings also stated that by entering inaccurate information on customer trade orders, Ms. Norman caused her firm's books and records to be false. Ms. Norman, of Paris, Kentucky, was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for four months. The fine must be paid either immediately upon Norman's re-association with a FINRA member firm following her suspension, or prior to the filing of any application or request for relief from any statutory disqualification, whichever is earlier. The suspension is in effect from June 3, 2013 through October 2, 2013.

    Broker-dealers must establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system to safeguard customer assets. Some of the supervisory tasks related to LOAs include identifying the customer, collecting signature specimens from the customer, reviewing and comparing signatures on the LOA, and following up with the customer before transferring funds and securities from any clients account.

    Recently, our law firm, Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., handled a case in which Wells Fargo Advisors was negligent in its supervisory responsibilities concerning forged LOAs. The arbitration panel entered an award of over $2.8 million against Wells Fargo Advisors for their negligence in failing to safeguard assets in the customer's account.

    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. Please see our Instablog profile (left column) for ways to contact us and get answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.

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