Arthur Apostol, a broker with Charlotte, North Carolina based LPL Financial LLC and East Hartford, Connecticut based First Niagara Securities, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which Mr. Apostol consented to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) findings that while he was in the process of transferring his customers' accounts from his former member firm, New Haven, Connecticut based Newalliance Investments, Inc., to LPL Financial, he affixed customers' signatures onto new account forms by cutting and pasting their signatures from documents they had executed earlier. Mr. Apostol then submitted those forms to LPL Financial. FINRA's findings stated that the customers had authorized the opening of the accounts, but Mr. Apostol did not have their authorization or consent to affix their signatures to the forms. The findings also stated that on previous occasions, Mr. Apostol asked customers to sign blank forms for future use. Mr. Apostol, of Ashford, Connecticut, was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. The fine must be paid either immediately upon Mr. Apostol's re-association with a FINRA member firm following his suspension, or prior to the filing of any application or request for relief from any statutory disqualification, whichever is earlier. Mr. Apostol's suspension is in effect from February 19, 2013, through May 18, 2013.
Broker-dealers must establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system to protect their customers' interests. If broker-dealers do not establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system, they may be liable to investors for damages flowing from broker 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. 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.