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FINRA Bars Brokers Accused of Forgery

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority separately barred two brokers who, among other infractions, allegedly forged documents and then didn’t cooperate with FINRA’s investigations into their actions, according to the regulator.

Without admitting or denying the findings, John Chrysadakis and Shlomo Strugano each signed a FINRA letter of acceptance, waiver and consent in which they agreed to be barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Chrysadakis, an ex-Northwestern Mutual broker, signed his letter Dec. 13 and Strugano, an ex-First Allied Securities broker, signed his letter Dec. 10. Both letters were accepted by FINRA Jan. 6.

First Allied declined to comment Tuesday. Northwestern Mutual and the two brokers didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. There were no attorneys listed for the brokers on their letters.

Chrysadakis was a broker with Northwestern Mutual from 2010 to 2019, according to his profile on FINRA’s BrokerCheck website.

On April 16, 2019, Northwestern Mutual filed a Uniform Termination Notice (Form U5) stating that, on March 19, 2019 it permitted Chrysadakis, “who denied all allegations,” to resign while he was under internal review for “alleged fraudulent activity, including alleged forgery of non-variable insurance forms and alleged submission of unauthorized non-variable policy applications,” as well as undisclosed financial liens and judgments, according to his FINRA AWC letter.

Chrysadakis then refused to cooperate with FINRA’s request for documents and information, according to the regulator. As a result, he violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010, it said.

As part of a customer dispute that was settled for $4,837 on Oct. 29, 2018, clients had alleged that the signatures on six Term Conversion Express documents requesting conversion of their non-variable term insurance to whole life insurance were not their signatures, according to BrokerCheck.

Strugano, meanwhile, was a broker with First Allied from 2015 to 2018, according to his BrokerCheck profile.

On Dec. 17, 2018, First Allied filed a Form U5 amendment stating that the firm was investigating whether Strugano had forged or falsified customer signatures and initials on account and transaction documents, according to his FINRA AWC letter.

Strugano then violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010 in October 2019 by failing to appear and provide testimony as requested by the regulator, it said.

In a 2018 customer dispute that was closed with no action taken, the niece of one of Strugano’s clients claimed he committed forgery and misrepresented net worth, according to BrokerCheck. Another customer dispute was settled for $51,000 on Jan. 22, 2019. In that case, a client claimed he committed forgery and omission in 2016.

Two other 2019 customer disputes are still pending, one in which a client’s daughter alleged Strugano recommended several unsuitable investments and may have forged the client’s signature on account documents, and the other in which a client’s niece claimed he made unauthorized transactions, according to BrokerCheck.

— Check out FINRA Hits Merrill Over Muni Sales on ThinkAdvisor.