Ameriprise Financial says it will pay $3.8 million to settle a lawsuit with New Hampshire regulators accusing six of the company’s financial advisers of forging the signatures of at least 96 customers.
The signatures were allegedly forged to make it seem that certain financial plans had been delivered when in fact they had not been sent. The New Hampshire regulators say that the advisers did this to make it appear is if their sales numbers were higher than their actual figures.
Out of the settlement, $333,948 will reimburse investors and $250,000 will cover legal and investigation expenses.
New Hampshire says that Ameriprise failed to report the forgeries that took place from the company’s Portsmouth office. Advisers allegedly used the code phrase that they were ‘taking a 10-minute trip to Kennebunkport’ to indicate that they were going to forge papers.
By agreeing to settle, Ameriprise is not admitting to or denying the allegations. The company has disciplined three of the six advisers and let go of two others. The sixth adviser resigned during the probe.
Ameriprise says that it has put new preventive procedures in place, such as requiring original client signatures and taking aggressive action if violations occur again.
The investment fraud law firm of Shepherd Smith and Edwards is dedicated to helping investor fraud victims across the US recover their losses. Contact Shepherd Smith and Edwards today and ask for your free consultation.
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