FINRA fined and suspended former Ameriprise Financial Services representative Lorene Fairbanks aka Lorene Fairbanks Miller for improperly borrowing money from a client, and for exchanging business related text messages with a client; Ameriprise additionally permitted her to resign, as both activities were against firm policy.
According to FINRA's report, Fairbanks borrowed $75,000 from a securities customer without Ameriprise's knowledge or permission, and subsequently communicated with that customer about securities, such as orders to sell certain option contracts and discussion of investment strategies, via text message in contravention of Ameriprise policy.
Investigators found that several of these violative texts concerned a complaint that Fairbanks' client had about her trading practices; Fairbanks allegedly failed to provide Ameriprise with these text messages, thus engaging in business-related communications with a customer away from the firm—including information about a customer complaint—in violation of FINRA rules regarding record keeping and preservation of correspondence.
This is the 11th disclosure in Fairbanks' BrokerCheck file, which features five settled customer disputes with allegations including misrepresentation of risks associated with options trading, churning, unauthorized trading, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unsuitable investment recommendations, and negligence. An additional pending complaint alleges misrepresentation and unsuitable investment recommendations, while the Ameriprise resignation disclosure is Fairbanks' second employment-related event.
In 2012, Merrill Lynch discharged Fairbanks for "conduct including taking discretion in client accounts and mismarking orders."
If you have invested with Ameriprise's Lorene Fairbanks or with any broker or financial adviser who has improperly taken out a loan from you, effected unauthorized trades or churning in your accounts, engaged in prohibited forms of communication (such as text messaging) away from the firm, or misrepresented material information, such as risks, and these activities have 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.