FINRA barred former Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC broker Joseph J. Antosh, Jr. for failure to provide on-the-record testimony related to allegations that he improperly modified the listed beneficiary of an elderly customer's IRA in contravention of firm policy.
The findings state that in 2011, Antosh allegedly changed the beneficiary of an elderly customer's IRA from the customer's son to Antosh's daughter. At the time, Wells Fargo policy prohibited brokers from designating themselves or associated persons—such as immediate family—as client beneficiaries.
In February, FINRA reported the barring of former JP Turner & Company, LLC broker Neil Copeland Winterrowd (Coto de Caza, California) for the alleged misappropriation of $1.5 million from multiple customers for personal use, without their knowledge or consent.
In that case, Winterrowd allegedly used a customer's death as an opportunity to submit a request for lump sum payment, indicating Winterrowd's personally owned Annuity Investment Group as the sole payee.
In April, FINRA suspended Oxnard's Frank John Tarazon and fined him $20,000 for borrowing $368,692 from an elderly customer while serving as that customer's successor trustee and beneficiary to the 75-year-old customer's trust, in contravention of firm ING Financial Partner's policy.
As Bill Singer of Forbes.com notes, many industry firms prohibit or otherwise discourage associates from posing as trustees, executors or beneficiaries because a perceived conflict of interest in the execution of an estate can subject firms to increased liability as it becomes easier for a rogue broker to engage in fiduciary misconduct.
If you have invested with Joseph John Antosh Jr., firm Wells Fargo, or with any other broker or firm that has improperly changed or coerced you to change an account beneficiary or who has borrowed funds in contravention of firm policy or without your consent and such activity 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.