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WWW: 33-Year Vet Alters Documents - Loses Job and Gets Suspended
[Photo: HullDunk (Duncan Hull) / Flickr]
Harold Baker of Dubois, PA, agreed to a $5K fine and a 3-month suspension to settle FINRA charges that he altered documents for customers by copying and pasting their signatures and/or altering dates and other information. The findings stated that the altered documents included applications to purchase variable annuities (VA’s) and account distribution forms. The customers verbally authorized the underlying transactions.
BACKGROUND. Baker has been registered since 1983 and, in 2008, became registered as a General Securities Representative and General Securities Principal through Sorrento Pacific Financial. Sorrento U-5’d Baker in May 2016 for having altered customer documents. Baker is not currently associated with a member firm.
FACTS AND VIOLATIVE CONDUCT. According to FINRA, between April 2011 and April 2016, Baker altered at least 9 transaction disclosure documents for at least 3 customers in order to receive firm approval of transactions previously approved (and perhaps signed) by clients. Baker did so by copying and pasting customer signatures and/or altering dates and other information. The altered documents included applications to purchase variable annuities and account distribution forms. FINRA acknowledges that the underlying transactions were, at least, verbally authorized by the customers.
FINANCIALISH COMMENTS. FINRA’s BrokerCheck report for Baker confirms the basic facts and circumstances in this case, without shedding any more light on the context of Baker’s actions. Without additional information, we can't ascertain that the sanctions fit the "crime." That said, that’s all there is. Case closed.
This case was reported in FINRA Disciplinary Actions for April 2017.
For details on this case, go to … FINRA Disciplinary Actions Online, and refer to Case #2016050071101.