FINRA's Department of Enforcement filed a complaint against Pruco Securities of Sherman Oaks, CA's Alon Zak for creating fictitious life insurance policy applications by forging customer's signatures onto them. Investigators found that Zak experienced "financial difficulties" and had received express commissions—including commissions from life insurance applications—at a time Zak applied for a loan against his home to pay off $50,000 in credit card debt.
According to FINRA's complaint #2020065349803, Pruco Securities broker Alon Zak (CRD #5734529) previously sold a life insurance policy, legitimately, to a customer while affiliated with prior firm MML Investors Services of Pasadena, California.
A year later, while associated with Pruco Securities, Zak purportedly created and submitted a variable life insurance policy application to Prudential Insurance without the customer's knowledge or consent. Zak allegedly forged the information on the application, including the customer's signature. Zak purportedly repeated the misconduct with a second customer.
Further investigation revealed that Zak had been experiencing financial difficulties during the relevant period, finding that Zak had $50,000 in credit card debt and at one point applied for a hardship withdrawal from his Prudential retirement account to pay delinquent property taxes.
FINRA found that Zak received tens of thousands of dollars in express commissions, including commissions generated from the aforementioned fictitious life insurance policy applications. Pruco Securities discharged Zak in 2020 for submitting fictitious life applications and non-genuine signatures, as well as for using personal e-mail to conduct company business and using unauthorized forms.
After Zak failed to appear and provide testimony as requested by FINRA, Enforcement charged Zak with falsification and forgery of life insurance applications as well as failure to testify and failure to timely respond to written requests for information and documents.