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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > FINRA

FINRA Bars Ex-Prudential Broker Who Forged Clients’ Signatures

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Outisde the FINRA building in New York. Outside FINRA headquarters in New York. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred a former rep at Prudential’s Pruco Securities from associating with any FINRA member in all capacities after he failed to appear and provide testimony as requested as part of an investigation, according to FINRA.

FINRA was probing whether Neil James Buono “forged customer signatures on variable annuity applications and submitted them to the firm for processing without his customers’ knowledge or consent,” according to FINRA.

(Related: FINRA Advances Rules on Senior Exploitation, E-Signatures)

By failing to appear and provide testimony as requested, he violated FINRA Rules 2010 (governing standards of commercial honor and principles of trade) and 8210 (provision of information and testimony), it claimed.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Buono signed a FINRA letter of acceptance, waiver and consent on Sept. 9. FINRA accepted the letter Monday.

Prudential did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More Details

Buono entered the securities industry in March 2017, when he joined Pruco in an unregistered capacity, according to FINRA. In May 2017, while employed by the firm, Buono became registered as a Series 6 investment company and variable contracts products representative.

However, on Oct. 17, 2018, Pruco filed a Form U5 reporting that Buono voluntarily resigned after allegations that he “created email accounts for two customers and submitted annuity applications on their behalf without their knowledge, including signing their electronic signatures, thereby obtaining compensation to which he was not entitled,” according to a disclosure on his report at FINRA’s BrokerCheck website.

Buono became associated as an IR with Taylor Capital Management after leaving Pruco, according to BrokerCheck. But that firm filed a Form U5 on Oct. 31, 2018, stating it discharged Buono because it learned of the Form U5 filed by Pruco, according to the FINRA AWC letter.

FINRA canceled Taylor’s license in October 2019, after it failed to pay outstanding fees, according to BrokerCheck.

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