NOTE: Stipulations of Fact and Consent to Penalty (SFC); Offers of Settlement (OS); and Letters of Acceptance Waiver, and Consent (AWC) are entered into by Respondents without admitting or denying the allegations, but consent is given to the described sanctions & to the entry of findings. Additionally, for AWCs, if FINRA has reason to believe a violation has occurred and the member or associated person does not dispute the violation, FINRA may prepare and request that the member or associated person execute a letter accepting a finding of violation, consenting to the imposition of sanctions, and agreeing to waive such member's or associated person's right to a hearing before a hearing panel, and any right of appeal to the National Adjudicatory Council, the SEC, and the courts, or to otherwise challenge the validity of the letter, if the letter is accepted. The letter shall describe the act or practice engaged in or omitted, the rule, regulation, or statutory provision violated, and the sanction or sanctions to be imposed.
George Abbott Berry AWC/2009017596901/January 2011
Berry serviced a brokerage account a relative held but did not have power of attorney or discretionary authorization over the account. Berry failed to report his relative’s death to his member firm, and after leaving the firm, he removed funds from the account totaling $70,000 by requesting checks be drawn on the account, sent to her listed address, which was the same as Berry’s home CRD address, and deposited the checks in a joint checking account he shared with his relative. When Berry submitted a written withdrawal request to the firm for $10,000, the firm discovered that the signature did not match the signature on file for the customer and froze the brokerage account after Berry acknowledged his relative’s death with the firm’s customer relations staff.
The Firm amended Berry’s Form U5 to reflect an internal review of his withdrawals and his failure to advise the firm of his relative’s death.