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FINRA Bars Broker Jeffrey Warren After Client Gift Raises Questions

Jeffrey Warren (CRD:#2707969) is a former registered broker whose last known employer was Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (CRD#:249) of Boca Raton, FL. He was previously employed with Wachovia Securities, LLC (CRD#:19616), also of Boca Raton, UBS Financial Services Inc. (CRD#:8174) of Weehawken, NJ, and Prudential Securities Incorporated (CRD#:7471) of New York, NY. Warren has been in the industry since 1996.  On February 10, 2021, a customer filed a dispute with requested damages of $125,000. The customer alleged that in January of 2021, Warren deposited a check from a deceased client’s trust without the approval of the trust’s beneficiaries. The customer was also a beneficiary of said trust. The firm denied the client’s claim.Jeffrey Warren (CRD:#2707969) is a former registered broker whose last known employer was Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (CRD#:249) of Boca Raton, FL. He was previously employed with Wachovia Securities, LLC (CRD#:19616), also of Boca Raton, UBS Financial Services Inc. (CRD#:8174) of Weehawken, NJ, and Prudential Securities Incorporated (CRD#:7471) of New York, NY. Warren has been in the industry since 1996.

On February 10, 2021, a customer filed a dispute with requested damages of $125,000. The customer alleged that in January of 2021, Warren deposited a check from a deceased client’s trust without the approval of the trust’s beneficiaries. The customer was also a beneficiary of said trust. The firm denied the client’s claim.

Shortly thereafter, on April 23, 2021, FINRA staff sent Warren a letter requesting relevant documents and information related to the alleged gifting from a deceased Oppenheimer client. At this point, Jeffrey Warren was no longer employed with Oppenheimer, as his employment ended on March 19, 2021.

The inquiry letter is related to the February complaint that was denied by Oppenheimer, but there is no dollar amount indicated. Warren’s attorney responded on May 3, 2021 that he would not be providing any information, documents, or testimony in relation to the complaint now or in the future.

Warren’s refusal led to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC), which indefinitely barred him from association with FINRA members in any capacity.

In a separately filed dispute on May 5, 2021, another client alleged that his investments with Warren were “unsuitable and misrepresented” during specific periods. This client requested damages of $30,000, and the claim was denied.

Boca Raton Securities And Investment Fraud Attorneys

If you are an executor of an estate or otherwise helping a senior with their financial affairs, you should immediately contact the brokerage firm if you discover a financial advisor is improperly taking money from a customer’s account. Financial advisors generally should not be borrowing from a customer or acting as a beneficiary or executor of an estate. Most brokerage firms have policy and procedures in place to protect a customer account after a customer is deceased and to assist in the distribution of the estate. South Florida has a large senior community and current FINRA rules allow for customers to identify a trusted family member or other contact person to discuss red flags or other concerns regarding an account.

Is Gifting To Your Broker A Wise Idea?

Understandably, long-term clients also become friends with their broker, investment advisor, insurance agent, or other people with whom they have a financial customer relationship. Your broker may even be on your Christmas card list. But what if you offer them a gift, such as for a special occasion like a wedding or birthday, or at the holidays, or because they send you a nice gift as well?

It depends.

A $20 or even $50 gift basket is unlikely to violate a firm policy—but it’s probably a good idea to check. Many firms have a $100 limit on the amount of gifts that their brokers and associated staff are allowed to receive from clients.

This also works the other way around—brokers who give gift in excess of $100 may also face internal compliance reviews as well as FINRA sanctions.

Gifting large amounts of money to a broker is not a good idea, because it triggers those same internal compliance processes and regulatory regulations (such as FINRA or the SEC.) In the case of an elderly client, gifting large amounts of money also has the potential for law enforcement involvement.

With the holidays approaching, consider asking your broker what their firm’s limits are before deciding on what to give and how much you’ll spend. This ensures that they can accept a gift from you without running afoul of their firm.

Did You Invest With Jeffrey Warren?

Silver Law Group represents investors in securities and investment fraud cases. Our lawyers are admitted to practice in New York and Florida and represent investors nationwide to help recover investment losses due to stockbroker misconduct. If you have any questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney. Most cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, meaning that you won’t owe us until we recover your money for you. Contact us today at (800) 975-4345 and let us know how we can help.

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