Former Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Broker, Sean Refsnider, Barred By FINRA For Allegedly Converting Assets From An Elderly Client
Sean Refsnider (CRD # 4762963) was a Financial Advisor at Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Haddon Hgts, NJ. Sean Refsnider has been in the securities industry since 2004 and was also registered at Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc in Voorhees, NJ and IDS Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, MN.
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on April 28, 2020, Sean Refsnider was barred by FINRA. According to the FINRA sanction:
“Refsnider was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he converted approximately $42,000 from an elderly customer of his member firm. The complaint alleges that Refsnider’s finances were in disarray, so he procured a check from the customer and he then used the funds to pay his mortgage and other personal expenses. Without the customer’s authorization, Refsnider had the firm issue a debit card linked to the customer’s firm account and then used the debit card to make purchases and cash withdrawals. Refsnider also stopped paper or mail delivery of all documents associated with the customer’s firm account, including her account statements and trade confirmations. Refsnider arranged for these account documents to be sent to the customer by e-delivery, even though he knew she would be unable to access and review her account documents. Refsnider linked the customer’s firm account to her personal checking accounts that she held away from the firm by electronically signing her name to the required forms outside of her presence. The customer did not request any of these changes to her firm account and Refsnider made these changes without her knowledge or approval. Refsnider also transferred additional cash from the customer’s firm account to himself using mobile payment services. When the firm became aware of Refsnider’s actions, it questioned him regarding his use of the customer’s firm account. In response, Refsnider falsely represented to the firm that all of the purchases on the customer’s debit card were made by the customer that he delivered the money in cash that he withdrew from the customer’s firm account to the customer at her home, and that the customer set up the mobile payment account so she could send him additional cash. Refsnider was not entitled to any of the customer’s funds that he took ownership and control over. Refsnider’s taking and/or exercise of ownership and use of the customer’s funds was done intentionally and without her knowledge or consent, so as to deprive her of her ownership and use of her funds. The complaint also alleges that in connection with FINRA’s investigation into his conversion of the customer’s funds, Refsnider failed to provide FINRA with all of the documents and information that it had requested.”
For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here
In August 2019, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. discharged Sean Refsnider alleging: “REGISTERED REPRESENTATIVE WAS TERMINATED ON AUGUST 20, 2019 AFTER THE FIRM CONCLUDED CLIENT FUNDS WERE MISAPPROPRIATED.”
Elder financial abuse is a growing trend in the financial serviced industry due to the aging baby boomer population. It is estimated that by 2030, baby boomers will control nearly $26 trillion in assets, which inherently creates opportunity for misconduct. The federal government and states have enacted enhanced legislation to address this issue but there is still a lot of work to be done.
For a copy of Sean Refsnider’s CRD, click here
Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.
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