FINRA suspended former Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC broker Michael Andrew DeMaria of San Francisco, California and fined him $15,000 for transferring mutual fund assets from a customer's third-party brokerage account without that customer's knowledge or consent, and after the customer purportedly stated he did not want his funds transferred.
According to the report, DeMaria discussed investment and retirement planning with a customer who held a pre-existing brokerage account at a third party firm, Charles Schwab & Co. During the course of this discussion, DeMaria purportedly convinced the reluctant customer to open an account with Northwestern Mutual, allegedly assuring the customer that to open a Northwestern account, no funds would need to be deposited.
FINRA states that after hearing that he would not need to deposit any funds into the account, the customer agreed to open an account, which, according to DeMaria, would enable the two to further discuss the customer's financial plan.
The findings state that just weeks after the proposal and account's opening, DeMaria caused the transfer of $38,000 from the Charles Schwab account into the new Northwestern Mutual account, which expressly went against the customer's wishes and was effected without the client's knowledge or consent.
According to DeMaria's BrokerCheck report, he has been employed by Seed Financial Services, Inc., also of San Francisco, CA, since February 2015. FINRA previously suspended DeMaria for failure to respond to a request for information in 2014.
If you have invested with former Northwestern Mutual broker Michael Andrew DeMaria or with any broker or financial adviser who has transferred, converted or misappropriated funds from a brokerage or investment account without your knowledge or consent, and such a transaction has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.