California Securities Fraud Attorney Call Today 800-699-1881
California Securities Fraud Lawyer Firm Overview Attorney Profiles Recoveries Obtained Frequently Asked Questions Testimonials Contact Us
information center
Attorney Advertising Disclaimer
Securities
Broker Misrepresentation
Brokerage Firms Sued
FINRA
Structured Products
Hedge Fund Losses
Recognizing Investment Losses
Recovery of Investment Loss
Securities Arbitration
Reverse Convertible
Misconduct
Securities Fraud
Securities Mediation
Securities Litigation
Stock/ Investment Losses
Suitability/ Unsuitability
Unauthorized Trading
Common Claims
Products
Frequently Asked Questions
Attorney Referrals
Video Center
securities fraud blog
legal blog Click here for a free case evaluation. Read our Articles on Securities Related Issues here. have a question resources
contact us
Name:
Email:
Phone:
Are you a new client?
Message:
10 Avvo avvo badge
If you need help recovering your losses contact us today. View our complete list of brokerage firms and banks we've sued.

Walter Marino Charged with Collecting $60k Commissions as Clients Lost Money Over Unsuitable Variable Annuity Replacements

FINRA charged former Legend Equities broker Walter Joseph Marino with recommending unsuitable variable annuity replacements that benefitted him to the tune of $60,000 in commissions while his customers—including a 78-year-old retired widow—suffered financial harm, including incurring surrender charges and tax liabilities, due to the unsuitable recommendations.

OHO Disciplinary Proceeding #2015046537501

According to the complaint, Marino (CRD #2121623) recommended that two customers replace their non-qualified variable annuities (VAs), which FINRA says was unsuitable on multiple levels. The VAs at issue include the Jackson National Life Insurance VA known as JNL Perspective II and a newer VA sold by The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company called "Equity Director."

Marino allegedly knew that the replacement would result in a 7% surrender charge under the JNL VA, but failed to disclose this expense and failed to replace the VAs using a procedure outlined by Section 1035 of the Internal Revenue Code, which would have made the exchanges tax-free. In addition to the surrender charges and commissions, the report states that by failing to utilize the 1035 exchanges, Moreno caused his clients "to incur significant tax liabilities."

This is Marino's 16th disclosure, which includes a handful of settled disputes alleging misrepresentations and excessive fees/commissions, and a discharge from two former employers, Legend Equities and Lincoln Investment. The Lincoln Investment—which Marino joined after his termination from Legend Equities—disclosure specifically stated that Marino was under "heightened supervision" at Lincoln due to his annuity-related violations at his previous firm, Legend Equities.

Despite being discharged from two firms for unsuitable annuity replacement violations, Benjamin Securities, Inc. hired Marino less than two weeks after Lincoln Investment let him go.

Marino's recommended replacement VAs also purportedly resulted in increases in annual mortality and expense charges, a new annual advisory fee of 1.5% of the new annuity's value, and new surrender periods for the customers. FINRA found the recommendation unsuitable because "the VALIC Annuity did not provide any benefit...that outweighed the increased fees and expenses and the new surrender periods."

FINRA alleged that Marino pocketed $60,000 in commissions while causing substantial financial harm to his customers, and purportedly violated several FINRA rules by misrepresenting to his firm the source of funds being used to purchase the new VAs. The complaint states that Marino falsely stated that the new VA purchases did not involve replacements, when, in fact, they were precisely replacements.

FINRA also concluded that Marino made or enclosed false statements in his customers' annuity applications, questionnaires, replacement forms, and disclosure forms. Investigators found that Marino wrote a misleading e-mail to Legend Equities' compliance department, and falsified, or caused falsification of, the firm's books and records.

It is important to note that FINRA'S allegations remain to be proven.

If you have invested with former Legend Equities/Lincoln Investment broker Walter Joseph Marino or with any representative or financial adviser whose unsuitable variable annuity replacement or other recommendations has resulted in financial damages, such as the incurrence of excessive fees, charges, or commissions, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.

accolades
The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates - California Securities Fraud Attorney
Located at 12711 Ventura Boulevard, Suite #440 Studio City, CA 91604. View Map
Phone: (800) 699-1881 | Local Phone: (818) 760-9880.
Website: