Pruco Stockbroker Charged With Interposing Spouse As Beneficiary

Julian Jay Piekarczyk of Joliet Illinois a stockbroker formerly registered with Pruco Securities LLC has been charged by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in a Complaint alleging that Piekarczyk exploited a customer and had prevented Pruco Securities from learning about his spouse’s designation as the customer’s beneficiary. Department of Enforcement v. Julian Jay Piekarczyk Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2018058117101 (June 16, 2020).

According to the Complaint, between 2014 and 2017, Piekarczyk acted unethically by taking advantage of a customer to generate a financial benefit from the customer’s accounts and policies at his death. The Complaint stated that Piekarczyk informed Pruco Securities in 2014 that he was slated to become a beneficiary on a customer’s life insurance policy. The securities broker dealer allegedly did not allow its stockbrokers to be named as a customer’s beneficiary. Piekarczyk’s request to be named as the customer’s beneficiary was therefore denied by Pruco Securities according to the Complaint. Piekarczyk allegedly confirmed that he would abide by the securities broker dealer’s rules in this regard.

Between 2014 and 2016, Pruco Securities’ policies were allegedly circumvented by Piekarczyk since he had the customer designate Piekarczyk’s spouse as the beneficiary of products that the customer purchased. The Complaint stated that the customer was aided by Piekarczyk in designating beneficiaries.

The regulator also contended that the customer had been persuaded by Piekarczyk to establish a joint bank account with Piekarczyk in 2015. The bank account had been funded with $76,977.41 – all of which came from the customer. The Complaint indicated that there was no point in which Piekarczyk placed any of his own funds in the joint account.

Pruco was allegedly never made aware from Piekarczyk that his spouse was listed as the customer’s beneficiary on those financial products which Piekarczyk sold. The securities broker dealer was also left in the dark about Piekarczyk’s creation of a joint account with the customer. Both avenues allegedly provided a financial benefit to Piekarczyk when the customer died.

More than Piekarczyk’s actions constituting a violation of policy, Piekarczyk’s actions purportedly precluded Pruco from monitoring his and the customer’s relationship and had prevented the securities broker dealer from addressing the conflicts of interest. FINRA Department of Enforcement alleged that Piekarczyk’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rules 2010. Piekarczyk was discharged by Pruco Securities on July 11, 2018 based on the allegations referenced by FINRA.

FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that a customer initiated investment related dispute concerning accusations of Piekarczyk’s activities was resolved on October 1, 2018 for $146,037.01 in damages founded on accusations of the stockbroker’s beneficiary arrangements.