Financial newspaper

Men shaking hands with secret money payoffMutual Service Corp. of West Palm Beach Fla., and five of its principals are the subjects of a complaint by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority concerning allegedly shoddy and inaccurate books and records over sales of variable annuities, including tax-free exchanges, known as 1035 exchanges.

MSC, with about 1,200 affiliated registered representatives and 800 branches, was acquired by LPL Financial Services of Boston and San Diego this year.

The Complaint

The five principals failed to reasonably supervise the firms review of its variable annuity transactions from March 15 to May 31, 2004, according to the FINRA complaint, which was filed last month.

In turn, MSC allegedly created and maintained inaccurate books and recordings, according to the complaint.

MSC staff created false backdated letters addressed to certain brokers allegedly seeking information about exchange transactions and placed them in MSC’s files, thus giving the appearance the record keeping was done in a timely manner, according to the complaint.

MSC’s staff then altered some of its records during the course of the FINRA then NASD investigation into the firms systems and procedures for supervising its variable annuity business, the complaint alleges.

These changes in special trade blotters and review forms resulted in de-backdating of some transactions, according to FINRA, which is based in New York and Washington.

MSC had no comment about the complaint, said Peter Anderson, the firm’s attorney in the matter, who is a partner with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in Atlanta.

Mr. Anderson, who is also representing four of the principals, added that the firm will defend itself in the matter.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission from earlier this month, LPL said it had been indemnified for any potential claims in the matter.

Guiliano Law Group

If you have been the victim of securities fraud and you have a complaint, you should consult with an attorney. The practice of Nicholas J. Guiliano, Esq., and The Guiliano Law Group, P.C., is limited to the representation of investors in claims for fraud in connection with the sale of securities, the sale or recommendation of excessively risky or unsuitable securities, breach of fiduciary duty, and the failure to supervise. We accept representation on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no cost unless we make a recovery for you, and there is never any charge for a consultation or an evaluation of your claim. For more information contact us at (877) SEC-ATTY.