Allegations include non-disclosure, false statements, and being named executor of an elderly client’s estate
William Stephen Smith, a broker with nearly 30 years of professional experience, was fined $10,000 and suspended for three months by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It’s reported that Smith didn’t disclose that he had served as the executor of a client’s estate, and that he received compensation for doing so while working at National Planning Corp. in Waterford, CT.
Smith’s firm has procedures in place requiring that their registered brokers disclose any outside business activities prior to engaging in them. In addition, the firm prohibits their representatives from acting as executors for client estates. In annual compliance questionnaires, Smith is reported to have lied, stating that he had notified his firm about his outside activities and that he wasn’t named as a beneficiary to any accounts.
If Smith used deceptive tactics to become executor of the estate of an elderly client, this could constitute elder financial fraud, a serious but not uncommon activity. While he didn’t admit or deny the allegations against him, Smith did agree to the fine and suspension.
Smith began work as a broker in 1982 for New York Life Securities Corp. In 1990, he moved over to Main Street Management Company out of Boston. From 1994 to 1995, Smith was a broker at three firms: first Polaris Financial Services, Inc. in Concord, NH; then MetLife Insurance in New York City; and finally, MetLife Securities Inc. out of Springfield, MA. After another stop at Polaris, Smith worked for Jefferson Pilot Securities Corp. in Fort Wayne, IN, and then National Planning Corp. in Waterford, CT.
More details on Smith’s employment history and FINRA’s actions against him can be found in this BrokerCheck report.
Brokers have a duty to act in the best interests of their clients, and if they violate this responsibility, they can be held responsible for their actions. If William Stephen Smith handled investments or legal matters for you or a loved one, think about getting in touch with the Silver Law Group. It’s possible that you are owed money, and we may be able to help you recover lost funds.
Scott Silver is the current chair of the American Trial Lawyers Association Securities and Financial Fraud Group, and our attorneys have many years of experience handling elder financial fraud cases and securities arbitration claims. The Silver Law Group is a contingency-based firm, which means we only get paid when you do – and we will visit your home to review your situation. Contact us now for a free consultation.