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Options for Clients of Former Ameritas Investment Corp. Broker Thomas Lawrence III

Posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 at 7:08 pm    

There are options for customers of former Ameritas Investment Corp. broker Thomas Lawrence III (CRD# 1839619) who suffered investment losses. Lawrence was registered with Ameritas Investment Corp. in Chapel Hill, Tennessee from 2006 to 2016. 

In June 2019, the Tennessee Securities Division barred Lawrence for borrowing money from a client.

In July 2017, FINRA sanctioned Lawrence to a 5,000 civil and administrative penalty and fine, $41,332.65 in restitution, and suspended him for two years from October 2017 to October 2019. According to the FINRA complaint, Lawrence “borrowed more than $39,000 from one of his securities customers, a retiree who was approximately 96 years old. The findings stated that Lawrence promised to repay the loan in a year, but he never repaid any part of it. Lawrence failed to notify his member firm about the loan before obtaining it and the firm never approved the loan from the customer. Lawrence’s firm prohibited borrowing from such customers, which Lawrence repeatedly acknowledged.” According to his BrokerCheck profile, Lawrence, “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he and his wife asked a customer, a 96 year old retiree, for a loan instead of seeking another source of financing because they were friends. The findings stated that the customer agreed to provide the loan and at Lawrence’s request, the customer wrote a check for $39,364.43 to the United States Treasury, indicating that the check was for Lawrence’s 2012 taxes. Lawrence drafted and signed a promissory note reflecting the customer’s loan of $39,364.43 to him and his wife, plus another loan of $10,000 that Lawrence’s wife obtained from the customer previously. Lawrence’s member firm prohibited associated persons from borrowing from customers, except for immediate family members-and then only with the firm’s prior written approval. Five times before Lawrence borrowed from the customer he acknowledged to the firm that he was not allowed to solicit or accept a loan from a client for any reason and continued to acknowledge the firm’s policy against borrowing from customers after he obtained the loan. However, Lawrence did not notify the firm about the loan before obtaining it, the firm never approved Lawrence’s loan, and the customer was not a member of Lawrence’s immediate family. Lawrence did not repay any portion of the customer’s loan.”

Lawrence has been the subject of three customer complaints between 2016 and 2020, one of which was closed without action, according to his CRD report:

October 2019. “FINRA Arbitration 19-03023 whereby claimant alleges failure to supervise and misrepresentation in the sale of alternative investments.” The customer is seeking $150,000 in damages and the case is currently pending. 

November 2016. “Claimants allege fraudulent misrepresentations, omissions of material facts, failure to monitor accounts, unsuitable recommendations, borrowing from customer, failure to supervise and breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.” The customer sought $499,364 in damages and the case was settled for $475,000.

Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Ameritas Investment Corp.  may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Lawrence’s customers.

Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.