Fired Ameriprise broker on the hook for $675,000 after losing arbitration

Amerprise sued the ex-broker after a client charged that the broker had stolen money from her and Amerprise had failed to tell her the broker had been suspended

Sep 22, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

By Bruce Kelly

An adviser fired by Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. in 2015 is on the hook for $675,000 after a Finra arbitration panel decided against the broker in a dispute with Ameriprise and a client of the broker.

The former broker, Li-Lin Hsu, was barred in 2016 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., according to her BrokerCheck profile. She eventually applied to the Securities and Exchange Commission to review being barred from the securities industry, but the SEC upheld Finra's decision, according to BrokerCheck.

Ameriprise fired Ms. Hsu "for company policy violations related to maintaining a beneficiary relationship with a client, complaint handling, commingling funds and conducting business with a foreign client," according to BrokerCheck.

Ms. Hsu worked for Ameriprise from 2003 to 2015 and was based in the greater Los Angeles area, according to her LinkedIn profile.

The award against Ms. Hsu stems from a Finra arbitration claim originally filed by one of her clients, Wan Yu Luo, who sued Ameriprise in 2015, alleging that Ameriprise failed to inform her "that the financial adviser to whom she was assigned, [Ms.] Hsu, was placed on suspension due to repeated violations of company policy and applicable law," and also allegedly stole her money, according to the arbitration award, which was finalized on Thursday.

After Ms. Luo sued the firm, Ameriprise then filed what's known as a "third party claim" against Ms. Hsu, resulting in the award.

"We are pleased by the Finra decision to hold Hsu accountable for her actions," wrote Ameriprise spokesperson Kathleen McClung in an email. Ms. Hsu could not be reached to comment.

The client, Ms. Luo, and Ameriprise, appeared to have reached a settlement in the dispute and were "in the process of documenting their settlement," according to the award. Ms. Luo initially requested damages of $805,000, according to the arbitration decision.

According to her BrokerCheck profile, Ameriprise faces at least one other claim stemming from Ms. Hsu's actions. In that case, the claimants initially filed in California Superior Court, Los Angeles, and then eventually moved the claim to Finra arbitration in January. That customer complaint alleges that Ms. Hsu "advised them to purchase a failing and unprofitable business for her personal gain and that Hsu illegally borrowed money from them."

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