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Ameriprise Sues Ex-Broker Over $748K FINRA Arb Award

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Ameriprise Financial on Monday sued a former broker of the firm in a federal court in St. Louis, Missouri, claiming he had yet to pay more than $747,555 that was awarded to it on March 13 by a Federal Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel.

The firm alleged that the broker, Matthew M. Beaver, failed to repay promissory notes when he was terminated in 2018. The broker alleged he was wrongfully terminated.

In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, Ameriprise requested that the court confirm the three-person FINRA arbitration panel award and enter a judgment against Beaver.

Beaver joined Ameriprise in 2015 after leaving Edward Jones, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck website. Ameriprise terminated him on or around Jan. 3, 2018, it said in the suit. A reason for the termination was not cited.

Asked on Thursday why the firm terminated Beaver, Ameriprise only provided a statement, saying: “We believe this case speaks for itself. FINRA sided with Ameriprise and awarded the full outstanding loan balance. Additionally, a FINRA arbitration panel denied the claims of wrongful termination.”

Beaver did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

In a Statement of Claim in the FINRA arbitration dispute, Ameriprise claimed Beaver executed two promissory notes, dated July 8, 2015 and March 23, 2016, that became immediately due and payable when his employment with the firm ended.

Firms frequently file FINRA arbitration complaints over promissory notes former brokers have yet to pay.

Beaver, meanwhile, claimed in the dispute that Ameriprise was guilty of “wrongful termination; defamation; breach of contract; breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; negligence; failure to supervise; tortious interference with contract, business expectancies and/or relationships; unjust enrichment; unfair competition; and violation of Missouri wage laws.”

That alleged wrongful termination and statements that the firm made in a Form U5 caused him to “suffer great financial loss and to be unable to find comparable employment in the financial industry,” he claimed.

But the FINRA arbitration panel ruled Beaver was liable for and shall pay to Ameriprise a total of $747,555, plus interest, including fees.

The arbitration panel, however, also recommended that the Termination Disclosure Reporting Page of the Form U5 “should be deleted in its entirety.”

Ameriprise alleged in its suit: “To date, Beaver has not complied with the Award and has failed to pay the amount due.” Its former broker had also “neither served nor filed a notice of a motion to vacate, modify, or correct the Award,” according to the Ameriprise complaint. Beaver was, as a result, “time-barred from moving to vacate, modify, or correct the Award,” the firm said.

FINRA suspended Beaver from serving as a broker on May 15 for failing to comply with the arbitration award, according to BrokerCheck. He is no longer registered as a broker or RIA.

— Check out FINRA Suspends Ex-Ameriprise Rep for Selling Shares in Friend’s Firm to Clients on ThinkAdvisor.


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