FINRA sign in New York. (Photo: Ronald Pechtimaldjian/ALM)

A regulatory panel ruled against National Planning Corp. in a client dispute Tuesday, saying the firm must pay the claimant $1.6 million in compensatory damages, $1 million in punitive damages and about $45,830 in costs.

Jackson National Life, which may still own NPC liabilities, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

LPL Financial bought NPC and three other National Planning Holdings broker-dealers in 2017. However, the independent broker-dealer says it bought just NPH’s assets and not its brands and/or regulatory liabilities, according to an LPL spokesperson.

(The remaining NPC website indicates that all non-investment related questions for the firm should be directed to Jackson National Life.)

In a claim filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in September 2017, Sandra C. Alford accused a registered representative affiliated with NPC and the firm of infractions, including breach of fiduciary duty, violation of Missouri’s Securities Act, negligence, misrepresentation, omission, common law fraud, breach of contract and negligent supervision.

The firm’s rep, who wasn’t named, allegedly invested Alford’s assets in two fraudulent promissory notes and recommended other unsuitable investments, such as nontraded real estate investment trusts and variable annuities, “for the sole purpose of generating commissions and fees to benefit the unnamed party” and NPC, according to the panel’s decision.

In making its decision, the regulatory panel said it considered the pleadings, testimony and evidence presented at a hearing and post-hearing submissions.