Eric Peter Burton of Orland Park Illinois a stockbroker formerly registered with LPL Financial LLC has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended for three months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity supported by findings of Burton falsifying customers’ documents relating to variable annuity transactions that he effected. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2017055447501 (June 22, 2021).
According to the AWC, when Burton was registered with LPL Financial, he was required to comply with LPL Financial policy on the replacement of variable annuity forms. Stockbrokers were required to complete a replacement disclosure form that contained a comparison of a customer’s existing annuity with an annuity that was proposed by the stockbroker. The form required an acknowledgement of the customer’s existing death benefits and other riders, and the potential features of the proposed annuity for comparison purposes. LPL Financial also required stockbrokers to explain whether they believed a customer’s annuity exchange was suitable.
FINRA indicated that Burton made false statements on 22 disclosure forms. He mentioned on each form that the customer’s transaction was suitable in part because they would be receiving a stepped-up death benefit. But those customers were advised by Burton immediately before their exchanges to remove those stepped-up death benefit selections. The stockbroker made it seem to LPL Financial that the customers’ transactions were suitable based on features that customers would not actually have on their new annuities.
Burton violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 4511 by causing LPL Financial to hold false records and books.
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Burton has been identified in two customer initiated investment related disputes regarding allegations of his wrongdoing when he was associated with securities broker dealers. On November 23, 2015, a customer filed an investment related complaint regarding Burton’s activities where the customer sought $10,617.00 in damages founded on accusations that they did not receive important information from Burton regarding the purchase of a variable annuity at FSC Securities Corporation.
On June 1, 2021, another customer initiated investment related complaint concerning Burton’s conduct was resolved for $17,553.18 in damages supported by allegations that the customer had been sold an unsuitable annuity by Burton while he was associated with LPL Financial. The complaint alleges that the customer did not know about the existence of the annuity between February of 2019 to May of 2021.
Burton’s registration with LPL Financial has been terminated as of March 8, 2019. Since February 28, 2019, he has been a stockbroker and investment adviser representative of Cetera Advisors LLC.