The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Monday said that it had fined Ameriprise Financial Services and its affiliated clearing firm, American Enterprise Investment Services (AEIS), $750,000 for failing to have reasonable supervisory systems in place to monitor wire transfer requests and the transmittal of customer funds to third-party accounts.
In February 2011, FINRA says, it barred former Ameriprise registered rep Jennifer Guelinas for converting approximately $790,000 from two customers over a four-year period by forging their signatures on wire transfer requests and disbursing the funds to bank accounts she controlled. Following the investigation, Ameriprise said, it paid full restitution to the two customers.
Brad Bennett, executive vice president and chief of enforcement, said in a statement that “Ameriprise and its affiliated clearing firm missed numerous supervisory red flags, including the fact that two of the wire transfers went to accounts in Guelinas’ name. Firms must have robust supervisory systems to monitor and protect the movement of customer funds.”
An Ameriprise spokesman on Monday said, “We are pleased to have resolved this matter from several years ago and have enhanced our related policies, procedures and technology,” adding that Guelinas’ employment with Ameriprise was terminated in 2010.