FINRA fined and suspended former Ameriprise Financial Services and Moors & Cabot, Inc broker Robert Charles Torcivia for improperly accepting and failing to disclose fiduciary and beneficiary designations from multiple elderly customers, ultimately inheriting over $160,000 from the IRA and trust accounts.
According to the findings, Torcivia (CRD #700880)'s misconduct began in December 2007, when he first accepted the designation of successor agent on a senior citizen customer's health care Power of Attorney without notifying his firm, Wells Fargo Advisors of Surprise, Arizona.
Though FINRA's report states that Torcivia was friendly with the senior citizens with whom he and his wife received beneficiary designations, Wells Fargo in May 2018 released the Wells Fargo Elder Needs Survey, finding that two-thirds of financial crimes against the elderly are committed by 'trusted individuals.'
Partially for this reason, many firms require its representatives disclose fiduciary and beneficiary designations, such as being named a successor agent or a beneficiary in a client's retirement account or trust, while other firms outright prohibit beneficiary relationships.
For instance, FINRA in 2016 barred Edward Jones broker Kory Penland Keath for failing to report such a beneficiary relationship when Keath had requested that a 90-year-old client add Keath's own daughter and grandson as beneficiaries to the elderly customer's trust, placing the Keaths in a position to inherit about 25% of the client's estate.
Having failed to inform Wells Fargo of this relationship, Torcivia subsequently joined Ameriprise Financial, where he similarly failed to disclose his fiduciary designations and attorney-in-fact roles, and furthermore answered multiple compliance questionnaires by inaccurately stating that he had not been named in a fiduciary capacity.
In 2015, Torcivia's wife, named as a sole beneficiary on one senior's Ameriprise IRA account, inherited $133,000 after that elderly customer passed away; Torcivia himself had inherited $30,000 from another trust in which Torcivia had been designated as a beneficiary, all without Ameriprise's knowledge and in contravention of firm policy.
When Ameriprise did finally discover these fiduciary and beneficiary relationships shortly thereafter, the firm terminated Torcivia for failing to disclose them, upon which time Torcivia joined Moors & Capot, where he remained until September 2018.
If you or a loved one has invested with Robert Charles Torcivia or with any broker or financial adviser who has improperly encouraged or pressured you or an elderly loved one to designate them as a beneficiary, which entitled the representative to inherit a portion of an account, trust, or estate, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.