FINRA Awards $1.eight Billion to Former USAA Advisors

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Two monetary advisors who claimed they have been wrongfully terminated by USAA Monetary Advisors in 2017 have been awarded $1.eight billion in FINRA arbitration final week.

Christopher Johnson and Lee Przybyla, who have been registered with USAA for six and 7 years, respectively, previous to their termination, filed a Assertion of Declare in opposition to the brokerage in December 2017 together with 5 different advisors who had been fired in the identical interval. (On every of their BrokerCheck reviews, USAA cited “improperly sought compensation credit score to which he was not entitled” as a cause for termination.)

In accordance with Johnson and Przybyla, USAA disclosed “inaccurate” details about the small print of their termination on their Central Registration Depository Kind U-5s. Johnson is now registered with 1st International. 

“No sum of money can compensate the claimants for what they went by means of, however our hope is the award will assist them transfer on and restart their careers and ship a transparent and loud message to USAA that it can’t deal with its staff on this method,” mentioned George C. Miller, an legal professional at Shustak Reynolds & Companions, who’s representing all seven advisors.

Within the FINRA declare, Johnson and Przybyla asserted they have been wrongly terminated “for practices associated to the preparation and publishing of monetary plans” and argued they have been “excessive performing, extremely compensated monetary advisors” for USAA. In February 2018, USAA requested the seven advisors’ claims be handled as separate arbitrations; FINRA finally allowed Przybyla’s and Johnson’s claims to proceed instantly. The remaining arbitration hearings are scheduled for later this 12 months and subsequent 12 months.

The award contains $850,000 in compensatory damages, $700,000 in punitive damages and $250,000 in attorneys’ charges. Moreover, FINRA beneficial that the advisors’ Kind U-5s be modified to say that their departure was ‘voluntary.’

USAA didn’t instantly return a request for remark. 

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