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Former UBS broker barred by FINRA for selling fake annuities

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2023 | Investment Loss

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred a former representative for UBS Financial Services who was accused of defrauding his clients, reports AdvisorHub.

FINRA took the action against Robert Earl Turner Jr. of Waco, Texas after he was sued by UBS for selling what the bank called “fake annuities”.

According to FINRA, Turner recommended to at least 30 customers over a period of two decades that they put money into fixed annuity products through a business formed by one of his college friends, called Fairfax Financial Corporation. The products were said to be annuities that would invest in commercial real estate and oil and gas development projects, and earn a fixed, guaranteed rate of return. But UBS said the annuities were not on its platform and called them a “sham”. FINRA said the so-called annuities were actually private securities managed by his friend.

In the fall of 2021, one of Turner’s former UBS customers tried to withdraw her entire estimated $450,000 investment from Fairfax, but the founder of Fairfax died before she received any of the money. Following his death, FINRA said “those of Turner’s customers who invested in Fairfax lost most, if not the entirety of their investments.”

According to the authority, Turner never disclosed his affiliation with the owner of Fairfax to any of the investors, and sought to conceal his involvement in the scheme by having the annuity statements sent to a personal post office box.

In court, UBS said it had to settle a number of lawsuits against Turner totaling at least $12 million and the company says it has now compensated all impacted clients for any losses they incurred.

According to FINRA’s letter of acceptance, waiver and consent, Turner did not admit or deny the findings but agreed to the ban. He filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in May of 2022.

Lewitas Hyman routinely represents investors harmed when financial professionals and their firms engaged in misconduct that caused their clients investment losses. Our team includes lawyers who have worked for large financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Services, and regulatory bodies such as the SEC. If you think your financial professional or firm engaged in misconduct that caused you investment losses, contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655-6002 or through our online contact form for a no-cost evaluation of your matter.