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Former UBS Rep is barred by FINRA and Sued for $17 Million

A former UBS Financial Services representative, Robert Earl Turner Jr., has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for recommending and selling “fixed annuities” offered by Fairfax Financial Corporation to at least 30 UBS customers who collectively invested more than $7.2 million.

According to FINRA, Fairfax was formed in the 1990s by a college friend and business acquaintance of Turner’s and the agency claims that the products Fairfax was selling were not annuities at all, but actually securities.

Court documents filed by UBS in Texas last year claim the managing trustee of Fairfax was Mark S. Woodward of New Braunfels, Texas. Woodward has since died. According to Texas news station KWTX, he committed suicide in December 2021 after being approached by the FBI.

FINRA claims the Fairfax products that Turner recommended and sold were represented as annuities that would invest in commercial real estate and oil and gas development projects. UBS called the investments a “sham in fake annuities.”

Turner also violated UBS’s policies, and according to FINRA, Turner actively concealed his involvement in the sales by having the annuity statements sent to a personal P.O. Box.

FINRA reports that in the fall of 2021, one of Turner’s former UBS customers sought to withdraw her entire investment from Fairfax, which the most recent ‘annuity statement’ she received had led her to believe was valued at over $450,000. However, Fairfax’s founder died before the customer received any money from the investment. Following his death, those of Turner’s customers who invested in Fairfax lost most, if not the entirety, of their investments.

Turner, 68, was with UBS from March 1996 to October 2021 and his team was headed by his wife, Stephanie L. Turner.

UBS claimed last year in Texas court filings that it had to settle a number of lawsuits, which by May 2022 totaled $7.8 million, although he was accused in the lawsuit of misappropriating $17 million. Turner filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy on May 12, 2022, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco Division. UBS has been trying to get the case dismissed, calling it a bad faith appeal by Turner to delay an arbitration claim UBS made against him with FINRA. UBS has filed a claim for more than $17 million against Turner.

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