In a settlement reached with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Ameriprise Financial Services (AMP) will pay $4.5M over allegations that it did not protect retail investors from five of their financial representatives, who stole over $1.5M. Three of these individuals had previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges involving investor fraud.
The Commission charged Ameriprise, a registered investment adviser and brokerage firm, with inadequate supervision of the representatives and for not having policies and procedures that were “reasonably designed” enough to stop them from misappropriating clients’ monies.
Ameriprise, despite setting, is not denying or admitting to the regulator’s findings. However, it consented to a censure.
The SEC’s order names the Ameriprise representatives in this matter as Barbara J. Stark, who was based in Minnesota and was fired by Ameriprise in 2013, along with her assistant/daughter Susan Walker: Jeffrey Scott, who ran an Ameriprise franchise advisor out of Virginia and was also terminated by the firm in 2013; Justin Weseloh, an American representative in Ohio who was suspended and then stepped down while under investigation for misappropriation; and Jennifer Johnson, an American associate financial advisor in Minnesota who was fired in 2016.
Stark and Walker are accused of committing about 600 fraudulent transactions between 2008 and 2013 while misappropriating $1M in client monies. Davis alleged defrauded five Ameriprise clients, misappropriating about $200K. This was not his first alleged offense while with Ameriprise.
Weseloh was accused of also defrauding five Ameriprise clients and misappropriating about $373K. Meantime, Johnson allegedly defrauded one Ameriprise client of $21K.
According to the Commission, Ameriprise has since put into place a new system to protect clients’ funds. The brokerage firm reimbursed all clients that were affected by the former Ameriprise representatives’ actions.
Investor Fraud Lawyers
At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP, our investor lawyers are here to help those that have been the subject of investment fraud. If you lost money through Ameriprise and your funds were managed by any of the five representatives we’ve mentioned or others, please contact our investor claims law firm so that we can help you explore your legal options.
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