Our securities fraud attorneys are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Barry Rumpel (Rumpel) currently associated with IFS Securities alleging unsuitable investments among other claims. The majority of the complaints involve variable universal life insurance policies (VULs). According to brokercheck records Rumpel has been subject to four customer complaints, one employment separation for cause, and one criminal matter.
In May 2016 Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. (Woodbury Financial) alleged that Rumpel engaged in a personal financial transaction with a client and terminated Rumpel. The most recent customer complaint was filed in October 2016 and alleged that a VUL sold to the customer and his wife were not suitable and that wrong net worth was entered in application in 2011 and 2012. The claim was dismissed.
VULs are often unsuitable life insurance products for many investors due to their high costs compared to traditional life insurance policies. VULs can also lapse if policy premiums are not paid resulting in a complete loss of the investors capital without any life insurance benefit.
Brokers in the financial industry have the fundamental responsibility to treat investors fairly. This obligation includes making only suitable investments for their client. The suitable analysis has certain requirements that must be met before the recommendation is made. First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation for the investment based upon the broker’s and the firm’s investigation and due diligence. Common due diligence looks into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, the issuer, the likelihood of success or failure of the investment, and other relevant factors. Second, if there is a reasonable basis to recommend the product to investors the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives. These factors include the client’s age, investment experience, retirement status, long or short term goals, tax status, or any other relevant factor.
Rumpel entered the securities industry in 2005. From June 2008 through May 2016 Rumpel was associated with Woodbury Financial. Since July 2016, Rumpel has been associated with IFS Securities out of the firm’s Atlanta, Georgia office location.
The number of events listed on Rumpel brokercheck is high relative to his peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters. However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck. More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.
Gana Weinstein LLP’s securities fraud attorneys represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts due to claims of fraud and negligence. The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.