James Earl Simpson of Toledo, Ohio, a stockbroker formerly registered with Equitable Advisors LLC, is identified in a customer initiated investment related written complaint which was settled for $51,500.00 on January 28, 2022, founded on allegations that the customer was sold an unsuitable variable annuity through Simpson when he was employed by Equitable Advisors. According to the complaint, Simpson also received funds from the customer for making mutual fund investments, but instead the customer was provided with a promissory note from Simpson for the amount of funds provided to him.
Simpson has been identified in two more customer initiated investment related disputes concerning accusations of his wrongdoing while registered with AXA Advisors and Equitable Advisors. FINRA Public Disclosure shows that a customer filed an investment related complaint involving Simpson’s conduct in which the customer sought compensatory damages supported by allegations of misrepresentations relating to variable life insurance policies held by the customer while Simpson was associated with AXA Advisors.
On September 24, 2021, another customer filed an investment related complaint regarding Simpson’s activities where the customer requested compensatory damages based upon accusations of misappropriation relating to an outside investment through Simpson during the time that he was registered with Equitable Advisors.
FINRA Public Disclosure additionally shows that Simpson has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity founded on findings that he failed to cooperate with a FINRA investigation concerning allegations of his unsuitable advice and misappropriation of a customer’s funds. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2021072352301 (November 19, 2021).
The AWC states that on August 20, 2021, the regulator was provided with a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (known as a Form U5) which relayed that Simpson was permitted to resign. Allegedly, Simpson was under investigation relating to a customer complaint, and the customer alleged misappropriation. In addition, the customer alleged that an unsuitable indexed annuity had been sold by Simpson away from the securities broker dealer.
FINRA received an amended Form U5 on August 30, 2021, concerning a customer’s complaint about Simpson allegedly selling an unsuitable annuity and Simpson misusing the customer’s funds. Another amendment to the Form U5, filed by Equitable Advisors on October 12, 2021, shows that a different customer alleged misappropriation by the stockbroker.
According to the AWC, Simpson was asked by FINRA to provide documents and information so that the regulator could determine if Simpson violated FINRA rules on investment recommendations and the use of customer funds. The AWC states that on October 19, 2021, Simpson’s lawyer informed FINRA that its request had been received but Simpson would not cooperate with the investigation. Simpson’s refusal showed he violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
Simpson was registered with Equitable Advisors between October 20, 1980, and August 20, 2021.