Jill Meredith Carr, a former broker employed by Overland Park, Kansas-based Waddell & Reed, Inc., 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 she forged the signatures of at least 15 firm customers on forms and altered information on other forms after those forms had been signed. FINRA stated that in connection with a firm-required update of certain suitability forms, which are utilized to update current suitability information for all customers' accounts, Ms. Carr forged the customers' signatures on update forms without the customers' knowledge, authorization, or consent. Ms. Carr also allegedly forged the signatures of additional customers on update forms as an accommodation to those customers, forged a customer's signature on an Exchange Account Service Request form, and forged the signatures of some other customers on variable annuity Delivery Receipt forms. According to FINRA, Ms. Carr altered the information on a New Account Form after it had been signed and kept at least two signed, but otherwise blank, Exchange Account Service Request forms in another customer's file. Ms. Carr, of Ellicott City, Maryland, was fined $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for two years. The suspension was in effect from August 5, 2013, through August 4, 2015.
Broker-dealers must establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system to protect customers from broker misconduct. If broker-dealers do not establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to investors for damages flowing from the misconduct. Therefore, investors who have suffered losses stemming from forged signatures by their broker can bring forth claims to recover damages against broker-dealers like Waddell & Reed, which should consistently oversee its brokers' activities in order to prevent the above-described prohibited conduct.
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.