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Federal Regulatory Authority Dismisses Claims of Fraud Against Former Financial Advisor
Victim of Ameriprise Financial's Erroneous Campaign -- Jennifer S. Wilkov -- Has Used This Ordeal as Inspiration to Help Others | Wilkov Speaks Out About Her Experience of Surviving Rikers Island Prison
NEW YORK, NY – On May 25, 2011, The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority known as FINRA rendered a decision denying all claims of misconduct in their entirety against Third-Party Respondent Jennifer S. Wilkov in a FINRA Dispute Resolution arbitration hearing that took place in April this year.
All claims brought against Ms. Wilkov in the Third-Party Statement of Claim by Ameriprise Financial were denied in their entirety including failure to disclose, breach of franchise agreement, fraud, and withholding material facts.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA’s mission is to protect America’s investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly. All told, FINRA oversees nearly 4,540 brokerage firms, about 163,675 branch offices and approximately 631,725 registered securities representatives.
FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business and administers the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. It is the successor to the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD) and has regulatory oversight over all securities firms that do business with the public, plus those offering professional training, testing and licensing of registered persons, arbitration and mediation, market regulation by contract for the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc., the American Stock Exchange LLC, and the International Securities Exchange, LLC; and industry utilities, such as Trade Reporting Facilities and other over-the-counter operations.
During 2004 – 2005, the time period referenced in the Third-Party Statement of Claim, Ms. Wilkov was a Certified Financial Planner™ Practitioner and an award-winning financial advisor in the Advanced Advisor Group while working as a franchisee of American Express Financial Advisors, Inc., the predecessor to Ameriprise Financial. During the FINRA arbitration hearing, Ms. Wilkov denied the allegations made by Ameriprise Financial and asserted various affirmative defenses.
Separately, Jennifer S. Wilkov has also maintained her innocence in the criminal case she is presently appealing which involved the same investments.
Since her plea conviction and four month incarceration in Rikers Island in 2008, Ms. Wilkov has been speaking out about her experiences with the legal process including the unprofessional conduct of her defense and incompetence by her former attorney, Barry Bohrer of the NY law firm, Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer, P.C. (of which the current District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr., was then a partner), and how she survived and chose to handle her time spent in prison.
According to the public record, Mr. Bohrer withdrew his representation of Ms. Wilkov at the beginning of her sentencing hearing after he had instructed her to plead guilty to the charge of scheme to defraud in January 2008. The judge in the case then denied Ms. Wilkov's request to remove her plea and adjourn the proceedings for two weeks so she could obtain another attorney of her choice to properly represent her. The judge then asked Bohrer to stand in as the attorney for Ms. Wilkov so she could proceed with sentencing her to 6 months in Rikers Island prison and 5 years of probation. The judge informed Ms. Wilkov that she could appeal her decision when she got out.
Wilkov says as a result of speaking out about her experiences, she has heard countless stories of others who were also not properly represented by their attorneys and how this went on to ruin every aspect of their lives, causing divorce, substance abuse, job loss and most of all – a loss of their self-esteem and self-worth.
But not for Jennifer S. Wilkov. Determined to provide a positive perspective on such a devastating experience, Ms. Wilkov continues to profess that even in the worst of situations, circumstances and conditions, you can do anything, help anyone and still make a difference for so many. She inspires others with her statement that you have the right to remain fabulous, always.
For more information about Ms. Wilkov and this case including her interview on CNBC Squawk Box from March 2009 and her award-winning article about this incident in the April 2009 issue of Marie Claire Magazine entitled “I Survived Prison: What Really Happens Behind Bars,” go to http://www.JenniferSWilkov.com.
To schedule an interview with Ms. Wilkov, please contact Tom Martin at 203-297-2137 or Tom@TomMartinMedia.com.
Jennifer S. Wilkov’s passion for communication has led to her being a # 1 radio show host, a best-selling award-winning author, a speaker, an award-winning freelance writer, a successful book business consultant and entrepreneur. She survived being incarcerated in one of New York’s and the nation’s most violent prisons, Rikers Island, after inappropriately being told to plead guilty to a crime she didn’t commit by an attorney who mishandled her case.
Jennifer continued to succeed as an author, media personality, entrepreneur and speaker after enduring this devastating, unimaginable experience. She knows what it takes to live the life you love in the face of any challenge. She loves to inspire audiences everywhere with the insights, knowledge and wisdom she has gained so participants take action. Jennifer fans the flames of the Human Spirit in each audience member and empowers them to tell their story, express it transparently, leap powerfully into their lives and at last live the life they’ve imagined.
For more information, go to http://www.JenniferSWilkov.com.