Enforcement Actions
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
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.
January 2011
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.

George Abbott Berry: Barred
Tags:  Checks    Deceased    Power Of Attorney    Signature     |    In: Cases of Note : FINRA
Bill Singer's Comment
The somewhat puzzling aspect of this case is whether there was a joint account at the brokerage firm -- since we are told that the bank account was joint.  If there was a Joint-Tenants-With-Right-of-Survivorship brokerage account, then you have to wonder why Berry went through all of the subterfuge; which sort of suggests that there wasn't a JTWROS in place for the brokerage account.
Enforcement Actions