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Wesley Foltz: Alexandria Broker Suspended by FINRA

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Alexandria, Louisiana broker Wesley Foltz (CRD# 4617507) suspended him over allegations he recommended unsuitable variable annuity investments. A former representative of Prospera Financial Services, Foltz was suspended for 30 days and fined $7,500.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2016048637601) dated October 2018, James Foltz was associated with Prospera Financial Services when, between April 1, 2013 and February 29, 2016, he recommended customers invest in certain L-share variable annuities even though he had no reasonable basis to believe his recommendations were suitable. FINRA’s findings note that L-share variable annuity contracts “have unique costs and features,” including relatively short surrender periods and higher fees than B-share contracts, that registered representatives “must understand in order to have a reasonable basis to recommend them.” FINRA’s findings go on to state that he recommended and sold 23 different customers 27 Sun America Polaris Choice L-share variable annuities. He recommended that the customers in question also purchase a Sun America Income Plus Rider with each annuity. With respect to both the annuities and the riders, FINRA states, he did not have a reasonable basis to recommend them, and he did not have an understanding of the products’ costs and benefits.

FINRA’s findings go on to state that Wesley Foltz did not use “reasonable diligence” to come to an understanding of the annuity’s costs and fees, which FINRA states was available to customers in a B-share class that would be less expensive “for customers who held their annuities for more than six years.” He also allegedly did not understand the terms of the rider he recommended, and “incorrectly believed that the B-share class variable annuity offered by Sun America did not allow for the addition” of the rider. He allegedly asserted that his erroneous belief stemmed from information an annuity wholesaler gave him, but FINRA states he “had access to sales literature… and other information that would have given him an accurate understanding.” According to FINRA, his flawed understanding of the L-share variable annuity rendered him “unable to inform customers of the various features of the products he was recommending,” such as their potential surrender charges and other expenses. FINRA found this conduct to constitute violations of FINRA Rules 2111, 2330, and 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Wesley Foltz was suspended from associating with any FINRA member in all capacities for 30 days. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $7,500.

Wesley Foltz is currently not registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Prospera Financial Services, LPL Financial, and Capital One Investments, all in Alexandria, Louisiana. He currently holds zero state licenses and has passed two securities industry qualification examinations.

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