A former Ameriprise Financial Services advisor was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority after failing to respond to its requests for information related to an investigation, Financial Advisor reports.
Francis Joseph Velten was the focus of a probe by FINRA following allegations he was “churning” and “flipping” the accounts of his elderly clients by recommending they surrender their annuities or sell their mutual funds in order to invest the proceeds into bonus annuities. While the trades left the clients with surrender charges, FINRA said Velten made commissions from the transactions.
When FINRA asked Velton for information and documents about the matter on four separate occasions, the authority said he did not respond to their requests. FINRA said this kept regulators from fulfilling their responsibilities, adding “There is no evident excuse or justification for Velten’s repeated failure to respond to FINRA’s requests.”
Velten resigned from Ameriprise when the firm began asking him for information about his trading for elderly clients during his tenure with Summit Brokerage Inc., according to FINRA. He was with Summit from 2006 to 2018, and worked for Ameriprise for four months during 2020.
Velten, whose career began in 1993, was found to be in default and was barred from the financial services industry. There are nine customer disputes on his BrokerCheck record.
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