Former NY Life Securities Broker, William Hite, Suspended Six Months By FINRA For Allegedly Forging Client Signatures
William Hite (CRD # 1675972) was a Financial Advisor at NY Life Securities. William Hite has been in the securities industry since 1998 and previously worked for a number of brokerage firms, including Metlife Securities and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on March 30, 2020, FINRA suspended William Hite six moths and fined him $7500 for allegedly forging customer signatures on account documents. According to the FINRA sanction:
“Without admitting or denying the findings, Hite consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he forged an elderly customer’s signature on documents in connection with an exchange transaction from a variable annuity to a fixed annuity. The findings stated that Hite forged the customer’s handwritten signature in one instance and electronically forged the customer’s signature in other instances. Hite’s forgeries are aggravated by the fact that in order to authenticate the electronic signatures he re-created an email address previously used by the customer and used it to verify the forged electronic signatures. Unbeknownst to Hite, the customer had passed away prior to the forgeries. Although the customer had previously signed these documents, Hite was not authorized to sign for the customer. Hite submitted the transaction related documents to his member firm for processing as originals signed by the customer.”
For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/fda_documents/2018058923701%20William%20James%20Hite%20CRD%201675972%20AWC%20sl.pdf
The conduct which gave rise to the FINRA sanction prompted NY Life to terminate William Hite “after he acknowledged he violated company policy when he signed and submitted an electronic fixed annuity application and rollover forms without the customer’s authorization or approval. No securities products were involved.”
For a copy of William Hite’s CRD, click https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/1675972#disclosuresSection.
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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