Category Archives: Metlife Securities

William F. Albin-former Waddell & Reed Broker-Discloses Discharge

July 2016- Las Vegas, NV

According to publicly available records William F. Albin , (CRD# 1744984) ,  a  stockbroker who is currently unregistered discloses that he was discharged from Waddell & Reed, Inc. in July 2016.

Waddell & Reed made the following allegation on Albin’s regulatory record in connection with the discharge: “RR (registered representative) used discretion in multiple client accounts without written authorization in violation of the firm’s policies”

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

Albin  was registered with Waddell & Reed from 4/2015-7/2016. His prior employments in the securities industry include Metlife Securities, New England Securities, Wedbush Securities and RBC Dain Rauscher.

Public records disclose that Albin voluntarily resigned from RBC Dain Rauscher in 2003. RBC Dain Rauscher made the following allegations in connection with that incident:“In the course of conducting routine surveillance of client accounts, concern were raised about Mr. Albin exercising discretion in certain client accounts without written authority.”

Discretionary trading is listed a Prohibited Conduct by FINRA, who states: “Purchasing or selling securities in a customer’s account without first contacting the customer and receiving the customer’s authorization to make the sale or purchase, unless the broker has received from the customer written discretionary authority to effect transactions in the account or the broker was given discretion as to price and time.”

If you have questions about an account in an account handled by William F. Albin , contact us to discuss your legal options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Michael P. Lessard-Former MetLife Securities Broker-Discloses Regulatory Suspension

Charlotte, North Carolina

According to FINRA records,  Michael P. Lessard, Jr.  a stockbroker who currently works for Southeast Investments,  discloses  a regulatory investigation and a discharge from a prior firm.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In March 2016,  without admitting or denying the findings Lessard consented to a 4 month suspension and a $10,000 fine to resolve allegations that while he was employed by MetLife Securities, he forged a customer’s name on a fixed annuity application and falsified his member firm’s customer contact log.

In 9/2014, Lessard was discharged from MetLife Securities for failing to follow company policy.

Lessard also discloses that he was discharged from Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May 2010.

If you have questions about an account handled by  Michael P. Lessard, Jr., call for a no charge consultation.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Michael J. Smeriglio Customer Paid $2.5 Million Settlement

April 2016-Trumbull, CT

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

FINRA records are public and can be accessed on the BrokerCheck website. 

FINRA previously barred Michael J. Smeriglio III, a broker with MetLife Securities, from the securities industry for failing to provide documents and information in connection with a FINRA investigation into allegations that Smeriglio converted customer funds from the customer’s estate and trust.

FINRA records indicate that Smeriglio settled two customer complaints recently:

  • In 12/2015, a customer who had complained that Smeriglio breached his fiduciary duty, converted funds  and committed fraud in connection with an annuity investment was paid a $2.5 million settlement.
  • In 4/2016, another customer with a similar, but smaller, claim involving an annuity was paid a settlement of $50,000.

If you have losses in an account handled by Smeriglio, contact us to discuss your options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Terry Joe Bagwell – Former Pruco Securities Broker-Discloses Numerous Customer Dispute Settlements-Birmingham, Alabama

 Birmingham, Alabama

UPDATE MAY 2017

FINRA records disclose that Terry Joe Bagwell has 3 currently pending and 11 prior final customer disputes.  Bagwell is not currently registered as a stockbroker. He previously worked for Pruco Securities and MetLife Securities, Inc. (MSI).

The currently pending arbitrations include:

  • FINRA Case # 16-03568- a customer of MSI Financial Services alleges unstated damages for failing to take steps to supervise another previous advisor involved in the misappropriation of funds that would go on to become a Ponzi Scheme.
  • FINRA Case #16-0442- a customer of Pruco Securities alleges unstated damages for misrepresentation of the terms of a life insurance policy.

ORIGINAL POST-April 6, 2016  

FINRA Sanction

In February 2015, Terry Joe Bagwell   entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent  (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that he was the designated supervisor of a registered representative who sold approximately $8.4 million in unapproved investments that were part of an ongoing Ponzi scheme. In addition, FINRA alleged that Bagwell personally participated in some of the unapproved private transactions.

Bagwell has been permanently  barred from engaging in certain activities.

Alabama Securities Commission Investigation

In November 2015 the Alabama Securities Commission initiated an investigation after receiving reports from Alabama residents who had purchased variable life insurance policies through MetLife/Bagwell who transferred the policies to Pruco and then, upon Bagwell’s recommendation, sold the Pruco policies and invested in a purported “hedge fund”. SC 2015-0023

Customer Disputes

Bagwell has been named in 9 customer disputes that have been resolved. Settlement amounts were as high as $1 million. There are currently 3 cases pending against Bagwell alleging fraud and the sale of unregistered securities.

Bagwell who is not currently registered. He was registered with Pruco Securities from 10/2011-3/2015 and prior to that, was registered with MetLife Securities from 4.2002-10/2011.

If you have losses in an account handled by Terry Joe Bagwell, contact us to learn how you may be able to recover damages from his former employer.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Morissa Rivo-Signator Investors Broker- Barred From Securities Industry-Boca Raton

January 15, 2016-Boca Raton, FL

Morissa F. Rivo, formerly a broker with Signator Investors,   entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that  she failed to appear for on the record testimony in a FINRA investigation.

AWC No.  2014041961001

Rivo was permanently barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities.

FINRA records disclose that Rivo was registered with Signator Investors from 2/2014-5/2015 when she was discharged for failure to adhere to firm policies and procedures. Prior to that she was registered with MetLife Securities from 6/2006-11/2013 when she was discharged for not following company policy with respect to customer signatures on account documents.

Rivo is currently named on a customer dispute in which the customer alleges that “he was tricked into exchanging a variable annuity”. In 7/2015, she settled another customer case for $68, 027. That customer alleged that policy recommendations were unsuitable.

If you suffered losses in an account handled by Rivo, you may be able to recover damages from her former employer.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Winston Turner-Former MetLife Broker – Barred from Securities Industry-Sarasota, FL

UPDATE AUGUST 2016Winston Turner was permanently barred from the securities industry. According to FINRA records Turner refused to produce significant categories of information requested by FINRA and failed to appear for his scheduled on the record testimony in the Disciplinary Proceeding discussed below.

ORIGINAL POST-February 25, 2016-Sarasota, Florida

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed Disciplinary Proceeding 2013038398401 against former stockbroker Winston Wade Turner accusing him of deceptive sales practices related to the sale of annuities to elderly retired persons.

According to the FINRA complaint,

  • “From late 2012 through July 2015, while registered with MetLife Securities and Pruco Securities, Respondent Winston Wade Turner engaged in a course of deception and other misconduct in connection with sales and exchanges of variable annuities involving numerous customers. Among other things, Turner induced customers to exchange their existing variable annuities and other investments (sometimes incurring large surrender charges) while hiding from his firm the true source of the customers’ funds, thereby circumventing the additional supervisory scrutiny applicable to annuity exchanges. He did so in part by splitting the exchanges into separate sales and purchases and, in most instances, interposing the customer’s bank account. Turner misrepresented the source of the customer’s funds and falsely denied in transaction documentation that the customers had previously held variable annuities or other investments, even though he knew that they were in fact surrendering or liquidating such investments to fund the new variable annuities he was recommending and selling to them.”
  • Turner also used forged customer signatures on variable annuity application materials. lied to his firm’s principals, and put his own email addresses as the email addresses of certain customers on variable annuity documentation to ensure that account notifications would be sent to him instead of the customers.”
  • “In addition to deceiving his firms and circumventing their supervision and documentation requirements, Turner deceived at least three customers by telling them that their annuities would earn a “guaranteed” minimum annual interest when, in fact, the annuities guaranteed only minimum withdrawal or annuitization rates. In one case he paid the customer her expected returns out of his own pocket while disguising the payments to appear as if they were coming from the variable annuity issuer.”

According to FINRA records, Turner was registered with MetLife Securities from 12/2011-7/2013 and with Pruco Securities from 7/2013-2015.

He was discharged by Pruco Securities in 8/2015 with the following allegations reported to FINRA: “registered representative made an unsuitable variable annuity recommendation, provided inaccurate information to the company concerning the transaction, and made payments to a client who was dissatisfied with the performance of her annuity contract”

Turner has  4 currently pending customer disputes.

If you have losses in an account handled by Winston W. Turner, contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Brian Berger Facing Wire Fraud Charges-Coral Springs, FL

UPDATE October 2016-BRIAN BERGER FACES WIRE FRAUD CHARGES. The Sun Sentinel reports that Brian M. Berger, 39, of Coral Springs, pleaded not guilty to three wire fraud charges in federal court in West Palm Beach, FL. Berger worked for several local brokerage firms prior to being barred from the industry as per our prior post from July 2015, below.

July 25, 2015- Coral Springs, Florida

Brian Michael Berger  entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that he failed to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into allegations that he misappropriated funds from elderly customers while registered with Wells Fargo Advisors and MetLife Securities.

AWC NO. 2015045725201

Berger   was  barred from the industry.

According to FINRA records, Berger was registered with Wells Fargo Advisors in Boca Raton from 7.2010-7/2014 and with MetLife Securities from 7/2014-4/2015. After that he was briefly registered with Newbridge Securities from 4/2015-6/2015.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870