Notice to All Variable Universal Life Insurance Policy Investors from the Securities Law Firm of Tramont Guerra & Nunez, PA

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FINRA fined Ameritas Investment Corporation $100,000 and suspended one of its brokers for nine months. The broker was recommending investors take on an additional mortgage and/or home equity debt to purchase variable universal life insurance policies.

FINRA will aggressively pursue firms and individuals who use misleading financial plans to induce customers to purchase securities, particularly when those plans propose that customers refinance their homes or take out home equity loans to pay for the purchase of securities.

The Securities Law Firm of Tramont Guerra & Núñez, PA (TGN) makes an announcement to all investors whose brokers recommended the use of mortgage proceeds to purchase securities. In a news release published on August 6, 2009, the Financial Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) imposed a fine on Ameritas Investment Corporation (“AIC”) and suspended one of its brokers for nine months. According to the news release, AIC was fined because it knew that the broker was promoting extremely complicated and confusing financial plans, which recommended investors take on an additional mortgage and/or home equity debt in order to purchase variable universal life insurance policies (“VULs”). In addition, the VULs were marketed as mechanisms for funding college expenses and retirement. FINRA found that the broker used misleading financial plans with more than 220 customers. FINRA Executive Vice President and Chief of Enforcement, Susan L. Merrill, stated that “FINRA will aggressively pursue firms and individuals who use misleading financial plans to induce customers to purchase securities, particularly when those plans propose that customers refinance their homes or take out home equity loans to pay for the purchase of securities.”

FINRA has long cautioned brokers about the inherent danger in recommending or facilitating their client’s use of home equity loan proceeds for investment. In 2004 the National Association of Securities Dealers issued a notice to alert Members to Concerns When Recommending or Facilitating Investments of Liquefied Home Equity.

AIC and other brokerage firms who recommended the aforementioned financial plans were obligated to give, and investors were entitled to rely upon, suitable investment advice in accordance with the FINRA Sales Practice Rules and Regulations. Investors should consider whether a securities arbitration claim filed with FINRA, is a viable means to recover their investment losses. Recommendations of unsuitable investments are causes of action that form the basis for securities arbitration claims filed with FINRA.

The Securities Law Firm of Tramont Guerra & Núñez, PA, is a nationally recognized, Martindale Hubbell “AV” rated securities law firm. To request a confidential consultation from a TGN attorney to assist you in determining whether you have a viable claim for investment losses that exceed $100,000 from a full service brokerage account, contact us on our website. To speak directly with an attorney, call (800) 578-0137 and ask for Benjamin Fernandez, Esquire.

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