A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) panel has awarded damages to a woman over claims that her broker misled her about her investment. The investment was an ING Landmark variable annuity for which the petitioner alleged fraud, breach of contract, negligent supervision and breach of fiduciary duty, as well as violation of the Colorado Securities Act by her broker-dealer.. The respondent, broker-dealer, based in Oklahoma City, has been ordered to pay the woman over $1 million in damages.
The petitioner alleged she had been promised seven percent compounded annual returns on her investment. The case was unusual because of the clear paper trail and a written guarantee from the broker. A Salt Lake City arbitration panel awarded the petitioner $537,000 in compensatory damages, an amount equal to the difference of what she had been promised and what she received. The FINRA panel also awarded $537,000 in punitive damages. The panel attributed the punitive award to the “pattern of harming a group of people,” demonstrated by the broker-dealer firm which had as many as eight other clients with the same problem.
Annuity Complaints on the Rise
According to FINRA, client claims involving annuities rose 31 percent last year. They rank fifth among the securities involved in claims against FINRA member firms. This surge in client claims is getting the attention of the federal government, which has considered placing conditions on the sale of annuities, citing conflicts of interest and high fees. The advocacy group Consumer Action says that seniors are particularly at risk for fraud and make up 30 percent of victims.
Philadelphia FINRA Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Advocate for Victims of Fraud and other Wrongful Acts
If you have suffered a financial loss due to fraudulent financial advice, you may be entitled to compensation. At Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. our Philadelphia FINRA lawyers have extensive experience handling many types of legal disputes, including FINRA arbitration. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online.