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Santiago Orchard’s Jeff Gielau: Investor Complaint Seeks $1 Million

A recent investor complaint against Orange, California financial advisor Jeff Gielau (CRD# 2378363) alleges seven-figure damages in connection with a variable annuity investment. Records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority indicate that he is a broker with Fortune Financial Services, doing business as Santiago Orchard Financial and Insurance Services.

Mr. Gielau’s BrokerCheck report discloses multiple investor complaints. The most recent, filed in December 2022, alleges that as a representative of Fortune Financial Services, he recommended variable annuity products with “excessive fees.” The pending complaint alleges damages of $1,000,000.

An earlier investor complaint, filed in 2009, alleged that as a representative of Thrivent Investment Management, he mis-managed a customer’s account and failed to follow the customer’s instructions, resulting in market losses. The complaint reached a settlement of $68,368.14.

Another disclosure on Mr. Gielau’s BrokerCheck report concerns a 2012 enforcement action by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. According to the disclosure, FINRA sanctioned him in connection with findings he “had his non-licensed sales assistant sign as agent of record on a customer’s variable annuity replacement form.” The disclosure states further that the form in question “was necessary for the customer to replace his variable annuity he purchased from the firm where Gielau had been terminated for falsifying customer signatures with a product from another insurance company.” FINRA alleged that Mr. Gielau was aware that his sales assistant was not permitted to sign the document as the customer’s agent of record. In connection with these findings, he was issued a 30-day suspension and a fine of $5,000. Six months later, he was the subject of a June 2013 sanction by the California Department of Insurance in connection with the same alleged underlying conduct, receiving a 5-day suspension.

FINRA also sanctioned Mr. Gielau in 2010, according to a disclosure on his BrokerCheck report. In this instance, FINRA alleged that he altered firm documents relating to customer transactions. While the customers requested the transactions stemming from the altered forms, FINRA found, they did not authorize him to alter the documents, and such alterations were prohibited by firm rules. The sanction states further that he altered the documents by either cutting and pasting “an authentic signature from a prior document” onto a new document, or by attaching “a prior signature page” on which he put white out over the date field “and wrote in a new date.” In connection with these allegations, he was issued a three-month suspension and a fine of $5,000.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Jeff Gielau holds 28 years of securities industry experience. Based in Orange, California, he has been a broker with Fortune Financial Services since 2012, doing business as Santiago Orchard Financial and Insurance Services. His registration history includes Financial West Group, Torrey Pines Securities, and Thrivent Investment Management. Having passed five securities industry qualifying exams, he is licensed in Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, and Texas. (Information current as of January 14, 2023.)

Carlson Law represents investors throughout the United States in claims against financial advisors and investment firms. If you or a loved one have suffered investment losses, please call us at 888-976-6111 or complete our contact form for a free and confidential consultation.

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