The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says it has barred a former Ameriprise broker who left the firm after it questioned him about certain trading activity at a previous firm.

Francis Joseph Velten began his financial services industry career in 1993, registering with A.G. Edwards & Sons, and had stints with three other firms before joining Ameriprise in New Port Richey, Florida, in January 2020, according to BrokerCheck.

He was only registered with Ameriprise for four months, until the end of April 2020, according to his record.

Finra says that Velten resigned from the firm after Ameriprise asked for details about his trading for elderly clients that took place while he was affiliated with Summit Brokerage.

Velten was registered with Summit, also in New Port Richey, from 2006 to 2018, according to his BrokerCheck record.

During Finra's own investigation into the alleged trading — which included allegations that Velten “churned” and “flipped” client accounts by recommending that they surrender their annuities or sell their mutual funds to invest the proceeds into bonus annuities — Velten allegedly never responded to a total of four requests for information and documents, nor to the complaint served by Finra’s Department of Enforcement, nor the default motion that included 14 exhibits, Finra says in a default decision document published last week.

As a result, the self-regulator says it found Velten in default and barred him from the industry.

In addition to the Finra bar, Velten has nine customer disputes on his record dating back to 2001, including two that were denied, three closed with no action, four settled and one pending. The disputes allege unsuitable recommendations, including those involving a variable annuity, improper account rollover, improver annuity exchange and unsuitable investments, according to BrokerCheck.

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