William James Hite of Stratford Connecticut a stockbroker formerly registered with NYLife Securities has been fined $7,500.00 and suspended for six months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that he forged a customer’s signature to effect an annuity exchange. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018058923701 (Mar. 30, 2020).
According to the AWC, in March 2018, the signature of an elderly NYLife Securities customer had been forged by Hite to initiate the transfer of the customer’s variable annuity into a fixed annuity. The AWC stated that Hite forged the customer’s signature on multiple documents including a hold harmless agreement as well as an annuity application and a replacement form.
The AWC stated that Hite even created an e-mail address as part of verifying the authenticity of the signatures which he forged. Little did Hite know that the customer actually died in February 2018. FINRA found Hite’s forgery violative of FINRA Rule 2010.
Hite was discharged by NYLife Securities on October 13, 2018 based upon allegations that he submitted rollover documentation and fixed annuity documentation without customer authorization in violation of the securities broker dealer’s policy.