MetLife Stockbroker Barred For Elder Abuse
Peter Orlando of Warwick Rhode Island a stockbroker formerly registered with MetLife Securities Inc. has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity according to a FINRA National Adjudicatory Council Decision containing findings that (1) a senior customer had been exploited by Orlando for financial purposes (2) bad investment advice was provided to the customer by Orlando and (3) the stockbroker possessed documentation from the customer which had been signed but was otherwise blank. In the Matter of Department of Enforcement v. Peter Orlando. Complaint No. 2014043863001 (Mar. 16, 2020).
According to the Decision, during the time that Orlando was associated with MetLife, he took advantage of an eighty-one-year-old customer named DW. The Decision stated that DW not only enabled Orlando to control her account but routinely followed his advice. The customer had been influenced to such a point that Orlando was made a beneficiary of her bank account. Orlando even influenced DW to make him a power of attorney and an executor of her estate.
The Decision indicated that the policies instituted by MetLife at the time of Orlando’s actions had prohibited him from being designated as a fiduciary or beneficiary of the customer’s assets when that customer was not a member of the stockbroker’s family. FINRA determined that Orlando’s conduct in this respect was violative of FINRA Rule 8210.
FINRA also revealed that DW was inappropriately advised by Orlando to terminate a variable annuity. This policy contained a guaranteed minimum income benefit that was important for purposes of addressing the customer’s income needs. This recommendation was made by the stockbroker even though he had been provided with information from DW indicating that her variable annuity was performing well and providing the income that she needed.
The Decision indicated that the customer was required to pay undue withdrawal charges and sales charges by acting on Orlando’s advice. The customer was not able to recoup those funds because the monies were placed into her bank account where she only earned a nominal amount of interest. The regulator found that Orlando violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 2111 for having unsuitably advised the surrender of the annuity when it was not supported by the customer’s financial profile.
The Decision stated that Orlando also possessed signed forms from DW that were otherwise blank which was a violation of FINRA Rule 2010. FINRA indicated that it was unethical and contrary to MetLife’s policies for the stockbroker to have a customer sign the forms in blank so that he could complete the forms at a different time.
FINRA Public Disclosure additionally reveals that a customer filed an investment related complaint involving Orlando’s conduct in which the customer requested compensatory damages based upon allegations that misrepresentations had been made to the customer by Orlando and that the customer was sold an unsuitable annuity.