– Claim Alleges ‘Free Lunch’ Seminar on Variable Annuities Enticed Seniors Into Unsuitable Investment
Read the Press Release below.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 4 — The law firm of Securities
Fraud Attorney Mark A. Tepper has filed claim against Smith Barney aka
Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (NYSE: C) on behalf of a retired couple who
lost irreplaceable capital and interest from their life savings.
The claim, filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA),
alleges that a Smith Barney broker used a “free lunch” seminar to entice the
seniors into purchasing an unsuitable variable annuity with high commissions
and fees, inconsistent with their financial situation and needs.
The claim contends that according to regulators, seniors are regularly
victimized at such free lunch seminars. “This claim is another example that
proves the rule,” it argues.
“According to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, the number of complaints from
Florida seniors about annuities has nearly quadrupled in the last three years.
Her office reports it has opened 474 investigations on financial fraud
involving seniors, with approximately 70 percent of cases related to annuity
and life insurance transactions,” Tepper said.
The claim also alleges that the Broker misrepresented that the couple’s
principal was protected by extra insurance riders he recommended.
“Smith Barney is liable for the damages caused by its Broker’s unsuitable
recommendation as well as the Broker’s untrue and misleading statements,” the
“I welcome bi-partisan legislation by Florida lawmakers that would bring
harsher penalties to sellers of variable annuities who defraud their clients,”
About Mark A. Tepper, P.A.
A former New York Assistant Attorney General and Chief Trial Counsel at the
Bureau of Investor Protection and Securities, Mr. Tepper has also investigated
and prosecuted ponzi schemes. A member of the Speaker’s Bureau of the Florida
Bar, he has lectured before the North American Securities Administrators
Association (NASAA) which presented him with an “Outstanding Service Award.”
Since establishing his law practice in Fort Lauderdale representing the
victims of broker fraud, he addresses professional associations, local clubs
and financial organizations in a continuing effort to educate the public on
securities fraud. A member of the Florida, New York and California Bars, Mr.
Tepper is AV(R)-rated, the highest rating of lawyers in the Martindale-Hubbell
Mark Hopkinson, NewsMark Public Relations