Thomas James Barone of New Orleans Louisiana a stockbroker formerly registered with NYLife Securities LLC has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended for four months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity founded on findings that Barone forged customers’ signatures on life insurance policy documents. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2019062300001 (Nov. 25, 2020).
According to the AWC, in March of 2017, four signatures of Barone’s customer had been forged by Barone on documents for purposes of effecting the purchase of a whole life insurance policy in the customer’s name. The AWC stated that the documents which contained unauthentic signatures included a receipt form and policy illustration document which relayed information about the premiums, coverage amount, rider details and the terms of the policy. FINRA stated that Barone falsely certified to having provided the customer with the policy illustration and signed application. He received commissions by effecting the life insurance policy.
FINRA stated that in September of 2018, a complaint was made by the customer whose signature was forged. The customer contended that the policy purchased in his name had not been authorized. Barone concealed this complaint from NYLife Securities and instead compensated the customer in the amount of $10,000.00 in order to settle this complaint.
Barone was prohibited in all circumstances from signing customers’ names to documents for insurance or securities products. He was also required under firm policy to report complaints from any customer. Barone did not comply. Two months after the customer complained, NYLife investigated Barone at which time he denied committing forgery. Barone’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rule 2010.
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that a customer initiated investment related complaint involving Barone’s conduct was settled for $31,500.00 in damages on March 15, 2019 supported by allegations of the customer’s fixed life insurance policy being purchased without authorization.
Barone was associated with NYLife Securities between June 10, 2015 and December 17, 2018. He was terminated by NYLife based upon accusations that he set up a life insurance policy without the customer’s knowledge or consent and had forged the customer’s signature. NYLife Securities confirmed that it submitted a fraud report to Louisiana Department of Insurance relating to Barone’s actions.