Ameriprise to pay $4.5M for not safeguarding client assets
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. will pay $4.5M to settle charges that it failed to safeguard retail investor assets from theft by its representatives. According to the SEC's order, five Ameriprise representatives committed numerous fraudulent acts, including forging client documents, and stole more than $1M in retail client funds over a four-year period. The SEC found that Ameriprise, a registered investment adviser and broker-dealer, failed to adopt and implement policies and procedures reasonably designed to safeguard investor assets against misappropriation by its representatives. The SEC's order charged Ameriprise with failing to have reasonably designed policies and procedures to prevent its representatives from misappropriating client funds and failing to reasonably supervise the five representatives. Without admitting or denying the findings, Ameriprise agreed to be censured and pay a penalty of $4.5M.