James Earl Simpson, of Toledo, Ohio, a stockbroker formerly registered with Equitable Advisors LLC, has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity supported by findings that Simpson failed to cooperate with FINRA’s investigation, which focused on allegations of him making unsuitable investment recommendations during the time that he was associated with Equitable Advisors. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2021072352301 (November 19, 2021).
According to FINRA Public Disclosure, Simpson was terminated as a stockbroker by Equitable Advisors on August 19, 2021. The securities broker dealer indicates that Simpson was permitted to resign when internally investigated about a customer complaint. That complaint alleged that the customer’s funds were misappropriated and that an indexed annuity transaction was unsuitable.
On August 30, 2021, Equitable Advisors told FINRA that a different customer alleged that Simpson misused funds and sold an unsuitable variable annuity. On October 12, 2021, the securities broker dealer notified FINRA that another customer alleged misappropriation by Simpson regarding investment transactions away from Equitable Advisors.
On September 29, 2021, Simpson was sent a request from FINRA about the investigation. He was asked to provide documents and information in response to the allegations against him. Simpson’s legal counsel informed FINRA on October 19, 2021, that Simpson received the request and would not cooperate with it. Simpson did not provide FINRA with the requested documents and information, violating FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
Simpson has been identified in three customer initiated investment related disputes containing accusations of his misconduct while he was employed by AXA Advisors and Equitable Advisors. FINRA Public Disclosure shows that a customer filed an investment related complaint involving Simpson’s activities. They sought compensatory damages based upon allegations that Simpson made misrepresentations to them regarding insurance policies.
On August 6, 2021, another customer filed an investment related complaint concerning Simpson’s conduct. They sought $100,000.00 in damages founded upon accusations of an unsuitable variable annuity sale by Simpson when he was registered with Equitable Advisors. The complaint alleges that money was provided to Simpson for investing, but he instead executed a promissory note to the customer for the amount provided to him. According to the complaint, the customer was misled and placed into an unsuitable annuity.
Simpson is also referenced in a customer initiated investment related written complaint on September 24, 2021, where the customer sought compensatory damages supported by allegations of misappropriation by Simpson at Equitable Advisors.
Simpson was registered with Equitable Advisors between October 20, 1980, and August 20, 2021.