Ellen Vratoric of Glassport, Pennsylvania, a stockbroker associated with The Huntington Investment Company, has been charged by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in a Complaint alleging that she failed to make an appearance for recorded testimony in regard to her sales of annuities. Department of Enforcement v. Ellen Vratoric, No. 2016049420501 (Dec. 22, 2017).

According to the Complaint, on March 29, 2016, FINRA was notified that Vratoric was terminated based upon allegations that she accrued excessive customer complaints and committed a violation of the company’s documentation policy. The Complaint stated that on April 11, 2016, the firm notified FINRA that Vratoric was actually fired during the time that she had been reviewed for re-using a customer’s signature on variable annuity 1035 exchange paperwork.

Further, FINRA was apparently informed by the firm on June 23, 2016, that a customer brought a complaint alleging that the customer’s funds were transferred by Vratoric into an annuity despite the customer never having authorized the transaction. The customer claimed that several disclosures were not made to her, including: the risks of variable annuity; required minimum distribution; and how the customer would be penalized through premature certificate of deposit liquidations to obtain funds to purchase the annuity.

The Complaint stated that Vratoric was sent a letter from FINRA on September 15, 2017, in which Vratoric was called upon to testify before FINRA personnel in reference to accusations of her improper conduct as referenced by the firm. Vratoric was purportedly expected to testify by October 19, 2017. The Complaint revealed that Vratoric acknowledged that she received FINRA’s request on October 16, 2017; however, she stated that she would not be making an appearance for testimony. FINRA made an additional request for Vratoric to provide testimony on November 9, 2017; however, she failed to cooperate with that request as well. FINRA Department of Enforcement alleged that her conduct was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that on June 13, 2016, a customer initiated investment related written complaint pertaining to Vratoric’s conduct was settled for $25,590.83 in damages founded on allegations that Vratoric transferred $43,000.00 of the customer’s funds without authorization and made omissions to the customer regarding a variable annuity.

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