Securities attorneys are currently investigating claims on behalf of the customers of Christopher B. Birli and Patrick W. Chapin, who suffered significant losses as a result of misrepresentations and unsuitable recommendations of variable annuities. Reportedly, Birli and Chapin received significant sales commissions for allegedly unsuitable recommendations to their customers.
On March 27, a complaint was filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Office of Hearing Officers against Birli and Chapin regarding the State University of New York retirement program. According to the complaint, Birli and Chapin recommended their customers switch MetLife variable Annuities with new ones held outside the retirement plan in MetLife IRA accounts.
Allegedly, Birli and Chapin circumvented their firm’s general prohibition of direct annuities exchange by recommending to their customers that they surrender their annuities to purchase another product available within the retirement program, wait 90 days, and then sell the second product in order to purchase the MetLife IRA annuity.
According to stock fraud lawyers, the new annuities were unsuitable because their liquidity was affected by the seven-year surrender schedules they came with. Furthermore, investors lost accrued death benefits above and beyond their contract value. Allegedly, Birli and Chapin each received commissions of 7.15 percent through the switch.
Variable annuities are a type of insurance product. With this product, the investor pays into an account now in exchange for the guarantee of a future payout. The investment is tied to a stock index return, making it variable. According to securities fraud attorneys, firms have an obligation to fully disclose all the risks of a given investment when making recommendations, and those recommendations must be suitable for the individual investor receiving the recommendation given their age, investment objectives and risk tolerance.
If you suffered significant losses as a result of an unsuitable recommendation regarding variable annuities, you may have a valid securities arbitration claim. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a stockbroker claims lawyer at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. at (866) 966-9598 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost, confidential consultation.