According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Mark Lamendola (Lamendola), formerly employed by Wordl Capital Brokerage, Inc. (World Capital) has been subject to six customer complaints, two terminations for cause, and two regulatory actions during his career. According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the customer complaints against Lamendola concern allegations over variable annuity sales practices.
In January 2019, FINRA barred Lamendola alleging that Lamendola made misrepresentations to a customer by fabricating letters that purported to come from an annuity company regarding the status of the customer’s deposit. FINRA found that Lamendola wrote in each letter that the incorrect deposit was re-deposited into the correct account and the transaction was not reportable to the Internal Revenue Service. FINRA determined that Lamendola had mistakenly deposited the customer’s IRA contributions into his variable annuity account rather than his fixed annuity account. In addition, FINRA determined that Lamendola paid $15,999.55 to the customer to settle his verbal complaint regarding the mistaken IRA deposits.
In June 2018, Lamendola was discharged from World Capital due to his annuity practices.
Variable annuities are complex financial and insurance products. In fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a publication entitled: Variable Annuities: What You Should Know encouraging investors to ask questions about the variable annuity before investing. Essentially, a variable annuity is a contract with an insurance company under which the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you. The investor chooses the investments made in the annuity and value of your variable annuity will vary depending on the performance of the investment options chosen. The primary benefits of variable annuities are the death benefit and tax deferment of investment gains.
However, the benefits of variable annuities are often outweighed by the terms of the contract that include exorbitant expenses such as surrender charges, mortality and expense charges, management fees, market-related risks, and rider costs.
According to newsources, a study revealed that 7.3% of financial advisors had a customer complaint on their record when records from 2005 to 2015 were examined. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their BrokerCheck reports that include customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, terminations, and criminal cases. In addition, research has show a disturbing pattern with troublesome brokers where brokers with high numbers of customer complaints are not kicked out of the industry but instead these brokers are sifted to lower quality brokerage firms with loose hiring practices and higher rates of customer complaints. These lower quality firms may average brokers with five times as many complaints as the industry average.
Lamendola entered the securities industry in 1983. From March 2009 until December 2013 Lamendola was registered with Equity Services, Inc. Thereafter, from December 2013 until June 2018 Lamendola was associated with World Capital out of the firm’s Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania office location.
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.