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Chris Dallas: FINRA Sanctions World Equity Group Advisor; Variable Annuity Allegations

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against Arlington Heights, Illinois broker and investment advisor Chris Dallas (CRD# 3233864) suspended him over allegations he failed to reasonably supervise variable annuity transactions. A representative of World Equity Group, Dallas was fined $5,000 and suspended from acting in a principal capacity for 30 days.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017052426601) dated February 2019, Chris Dallas was acting as a home office principal for World Equity Group when, in March 2017, he “approved four variable annuity exchange transactions for two customers… knowing that the disclosure forms had been altered after the customers had signed them.” FINRA’s findings state that during a review of the exchange application forms following their completion by a representative and signature by the customers, he found “errors or ambiguities” in the paperwork and returned them to the representative. According to FINRA’s findings, the representative “or his secretary whited-out the information identified by Dallas, wrote new information over the whited-out sections,” and sent them back to Dallas. FINRA’s findings state that he was aware the altered forms, which were “more accurate,” had not been provided to the customers “to review or sign,” and that he either knew or should have known that the customers “were not even notified of the changes.” In spite of this, according to FINRA, Dallas approved the variable annuity exchange transactions.

Roughly a year later, FINRA states, the customers in question were informed about the paperwork errors; FINRA notes that they expressed satisfaction with the transactions. Still, according to FINRA, the approval of these altered disclosure forms constituted violations of FINRA rules. These include rules governing supervisory systems, the need for associated persons for to have a reasonable basis to believe customers have been informed of variable annuity features, and the need for principal review of annuity transactions to ensure the relevant forms are “complete and correct.” As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Chris Dallas was suspended from acting in a principal capacity for 30 days and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

Chris Dallas has been registered with World Equity Group in Arlington Heights, Illinois since 2011. His employment history includes Best Direct Securities, Brewer Financial Services, and Interocean Securities. He currently holds one state license and has passed five securities industry qualification examinations.

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