The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority suspended stockbroker Daniel Leland Chiddister and fined him $10,000 for allegedly impersonating a prospective customer after meeting with the customer to discuss transferring funds out of the customer's universal life insurance policy in order to purchase a variable annuity (VA).
Chiddister accepted FINRA's findings and discipline without admitting or denying them.
According to the findings and while associated with Girard Securities, Inc. in June of 2010, Chiddister, met with the prospective customers,and obtained one customer's social security number, date of birth and a recent account statement from the existing life insurance policy.
The findings state that at the conclusion of this meeting, the customer instructed Chiddister that the proposition was still being considered—the customer needed more time. The customer also informed Chiddister of an eight-week vacation to begin later in the week.
FINRA found that later that same day and after the meeting had finished, Chiddister called the insurance company and requested a transfer form, impersonating the customer without the customer's knowledge or consent and in doing so, supplied the insurance company representative with the previously obtained social security number, date of birth and other personally identifiable information.
According to FINRA's findings, Chiddister called back 10 minutes later, once again impersonating his customer, and requested expedited delivery of the transfer forms. After being notified the form could only be mailed first class or supplied to the customer's secure website account with the insurance company, Chiddister allegedly caused the customer's website account password to be changed, resulting in this complaint against Chiddister.
FINRA's Department of Enforcement deemed that Chiddister's alleged actions in impersonating a client violated Rule 2010, in reference to the industry's "high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade."
All investors can attempt to safeguard against the enticement for such misconduct by providing personal information—such as social security numbers—only when it is absolutely required. Nonetheless, sometimes even the most closely guarded information can be misused. If you suspect a broker has impersonated you, engaged in unauthorized transactions or otherwise engaged in illicit activity that has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.