Broker Audrey Croft (Croft), currently employed at Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC (Ameriprise), has been subject to at least three customer complaints and an astonishing ten tax liens during the course of her career. Her customer complaints allege misrepresentation and unsuitable recommendation.
Croft’s BrokerCheck report shows a substantial amount of disclosures (13). Over the course of her career, Croft has disclosed ten tax liens totaling approximately $80,000.00. Most recently, Croft disclosed two tax liens in April and October 2019 totaling approximately $600.00. In February 2012, Croft disclosed her largest tax lien totaling approximately $64,000.00. Large tax liens on a broker’s CRD can be a red flag that the broker may be influenced to engage in high commission activity in order to satisfy personal debts. FINRA discloses information concerning a broker’s financial condition because a broker’s inability to handle their own personal finances has also been found to be material information in helping investors determine if they should allow the broker to handle their finances.
Additionally, Croft has been alleged of making misrepresentations and unsuitable recommendations. In January 2019, a customer alleged Croft misrepresented the surrender charges and premium payments of an insurance policy. Additionally, in February 2009 a customer alleged Croft did not disclose the full details of a policy. The Broker Comment stated, “THE VUL POLICIES DID NOT APPEAR TO BE SUITABLE FOR THE CLIENTS’ INSURANCE NEEDS OR ABILITY TO SUSTAIN LARGE PAYMENTS AND THEY DID NOT APPEAR TO HAVE UNDERSTOOD THERE COULD BE SURRENDER CHARGES OR THE POLICIES COULD LAPSE.” This matter settled for approximately $37,000.00. Similarly, in September 2008, a customer alleged Croft of making unsuitable recommendations. This matter also settled in favor of the customer for approximately $44,000.00.
Brokers have an obligation to make only suitable recommendations for investments to the client. There are many investments that are not appropriate for the majority of investors or for certain investors given their risk tolerance, age, and other factors. Brokers should not present these investment options to clients. There are two screens that brokers must employ to determine whether an investment is suitable for a client. First, there must be a reasonable basis for the recommendation – meaning that the product has been investigated and due diligence conducted into the investment’s features, benefits, risks, and other relevant factors. The broker must conclude that the investment is suitable for at least some investors and some securities may be suitable for no one. Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short-term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.
Croft entered the securities industry in 2000. From 2000 through the present she has been registered at Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Additionally, from 2000 through 2006, Croft was also registered at IDS Life Insurance Company.
Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.