The following summation was obtained on FINRA’s website under “Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions, October, 2013.”
Christopher Shawn Vaughn (CRD #4956822, Registered Representative, Leesburg, Florida)
was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Vaughn consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he engaged in a scheme to convert securities owned by an 82-year-old customer Vaughn befriended.
FINRA’s findings stated that without the customer’s knowledge or consent, Vaughn made his wife the primary beneficiary of the customer’s brokerage account. Vaughn caused his firm’s books and records to be inaccurate. After opening her account, Vaughn recommended and sold the customer a fixed annuity contract for $10,000. The customer informed Vaughn that she wanted her neighbor to be named as the annuity’s beneficiary. Vaughn falsely recorded in the firm’s electronic system that his wife was the annuity’s primary and sole beneficiary.
FINRA found that the customer received a packet of documents concerning her annuity, from which she learned for the first time that Vaughn’s wife was named as the beneficiary of the annuity. The customer did not know Vaughn’s wife. At her request, the customer’s annuity contract was cancelled and the $10,000 was refunded to her.
FINRA also found that after the customer’s neighbor informed Vaughn of the customer’s death, he informed the neighbor that the customer contacted him to remove the neighbor as the beneficiary and instead named a hospice in her place. Vaughn never did. Approximately one month after the customer’s death, Vaughn opened a brokerage account in his wife’s name for the express purpose of receiving the assets from the customer’s account.
The firm did not find any documentation that the customer requested Vaughn’s wife be named as a beneficiary on either the account or annuity. The firm terminated Vaughn’s employment in connection with this matter. Vaughn and his wife executed a Mutual Release and Settlement Agreement with the firm, agreeing to transfer the assets held in the wife’s account back to the customer’s account or an account maintained in the name of the customer’s estate. Vaughn’s conduct resulted in the conversion of $22,417.58 in assets from the customer.
(FINRA Case #2011028581201)
According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Christopher Shawn Vaughn was previously registered with the following firms:
SUNTRUST INVESTMENT SERVICES, INC. (CRD# 17499) – DELTONA, FL
08/2009 – 07/2011
WELLS FARGO ADVISORS, LLC (CRD# 19616) – THE VILLAGES, FL
01/2008 – 08/2009
A. G. EDWARDS & SONS, INC. (CRD# 4) – THE VILLAGES, FL
06/2007 – 01/2008
WACHOVIA SECURITIES, LLC (CRD# 19616) – LEESBURG, FL
04/2006 – 06/2007
This ends the summation for the information obtained on FINRA’s website.
If you or an elderly family member have experienced losses through your broker/financial advisor, call a Securities Arbitration Lawyer at Soreide Law Group for a free consultation on how to potentially recover your losses: 888-760-6552.