The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it fined Fidelity Brokerage Services $500,000 and ordered the firm to pay $530,000 in restitution for failing to detect or prevent the theft of more than $1 million from nine of its customers, eight of whom were senior citizens. A woman, Lisa Lewis, posed as a Fidelity broker in order to obtain her victim’s personal information and subsequently stole customer assets through numerous transfers and debit-card transactions. FINRA found the Lewis operated a conversion scheme from August 2006 until May 2013. Lewis allegedly targeted former customers from another brokerage firm from which she had been fired. She told the investors that she was a Fidelity broker and established joint accounts with her victims in which she was listed as an owner. She opened more than 50 separate accounts and converted assets from many of these accounts to her own and used the money for herself. Lewis pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. She was also ordered to pay her victims more than $2 million in restitution.
FINRA found that Fidelity failed to detect or follow-up on various “red flags” related to Lewis’ scheme. FINRA also found that inadequate supervisory systems and procedures contributed to the failure to detect and prevent Lewis’ fraudulent activities. Fidelity failed to adequately review and investigate many of the reports concerning Lewis. If you invested money with Lisa Lewis, please contact our securities law firm in Chicago to speak with one of our attorneys. The call is free with no obligation. You may be able to bring a claim against Fidelity for supervisory failures.
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