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Regulatory Sanctions

WWW: Administrative Shortcuts Doom Edward Jones Broker - FINRA

April 3, 2017

[Photo: dullhunk / flickr]


Take Away.    Administrative shortcuts are all too common in the industry and often lead to significant fines and suspensions. And they’re so easy to detect through by firms and regulators , through internal reviews and office inspections. Which prompts the question ... "Why the rush?”


Beth Dutoit, a resident of Norman, OK, agreed to a deferred fine of $5K and a 3-month suspension to settle FINRA charges that she had customers sign a blank form to facilitate the transfer of multiple accounts to the firm rather than have the customers sign transfer request forms for each of the accounts transferred.


ABOUT THE RESPONDENT.    Beth Dutoit has been in the securities industry since 1994. Her longest stints have been with Oppenheimer Funds Distributors (2004-2011) and Edward Jones (2011-2015). She’s got her Series 6, 7, 63 and 66 licenses. Dutoit currently is not registered with any firm.


FINRA FINDINGS AGAINST DUTOIT.    In order to complete the transfer of customer accounts, Edward Jones required that the customer complete and sign a Transfer-in Account ("Transfer-in") form for each account was being transferred to Edward Jones. While Dutoit was associated with Edward Jones, she obtained one signed Transfer-in form from each of 4 customers and photocopied the Transfer-in form for as many transferring accounts as necessary. Dutoit submitted the Transfer-in forms with the photocopied signatures to Edward Jones as authentic. Dutoit was permitted to resign during Edward Jones's internal review of these forms.


Dutoit next went to United Planners’ Financial Services, and while associated there, submitted an ACH1 Authorization Agreement ("ACH form"), which authorized the electronic transfer of funds from a husband's checking account to the couple's joint brokerage account. When it was noted that the wife had not signed the ACH form, Dutoit's manager instructed her to meet with the customer, obtain the wife's signature and resubmit the form to an assistant. Instead, Dutoit falsified the wife's signature and submitted the ACH form bearing the false signature to United as authentic. She was once again U5’d.


For all intensive purposes, Beth Dutoit is essentially finished in brokerage - having falsified documents, willfully disobeyed her manager’s instructions, and been U-5d for cause by broker-dealers.


This case was reported in FINRA Disciplinary Actions for March 2017.

For details on this case, go to … FINRA Disciplinary Actions Online, and refer to Case# 2015047435601.