Patrick W. Chapin and Christopher B. Birli Investigated by Securities Lawyers Following Regulatory Action

Patrick W. Chapin and Christopher B. Birli, two investment professionals, are being investigated by the Peiffer Wolf securities practice lawyers following allegations by securities regulators that they placed investors in unsuitable variable annuity investments, misrepresented such investments to their customers, and obtained substantial sales commissions for themselves.

Chapin and Birli focused their business on servicing State University of New York (SUNY) employees who participated in the SUNY retirement program, according to a complaint filed against them by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Department of Enforcement.

Regulatory documents reviewed by attorneys Jason Kane, and Joe Peiffer indicate that Chapin and Birli recommended that 45 of their SUNY customers switch their existing MetLife variable annuities contained within their SUNY retirement accounts with new MetLife variable annuities contained in MetLife IRA accounts held outside the SUNY retirement program.

Chapin and Birli’s firm generally prohibited the direct exchange of the annuities held by Chapin and Birli’s customers, but allowed such exchanges on an exception basis, according to the complaint. Chapin and Birli, according to the Department of Enforcement, circumvented MetLife’s restrictions by conducting a two step transaction as follows: (1) Chapin and Birli recommended that their customers surrender their original annuity and use the funds to purchase a product offered by TIAA-Cref that was available to them in the SUNY retirement program; (2) Chapin and Birli had their customers wait at least 90 days, and then had the customers sell the TIAA-Cref products and use the funds to purchase the new annuity in a MetLife IRA.

Chapin and Birli placed their customers in unsuitable investments by switching their annuities because the new annuities came with seven-year surrender schedules, therefore affecting the annuity’s liquidity, according to the complaint. Customers also lost any death benefits that had accrued in excess of their contract value when they purchased the TIAA-Cref product, according to the complaint.

Chapin and Birli each received a 7.15% commission when they switched their customers’ annuities while their customers paid surrender charges and lost death benefits, according to the Department of Enforcement.

The Peiffer Wolf securities attorneys often represent investors who lose money as a result of Ponzi schemes, investment fraud, or stockbroker misconduct. They are currently investigating the possibility of assisting Patrick Chapin and Christopher Birli investors with the recovery of any losses they may have suffered. They take most cases of this type on a contingency fee basis and advance the case costs, and only get paid for their fees and costs out of money they recover for their clients.

Investors who believe they lost money as a result of investment fraud or misconduct may contact the securities practice lawyers at Peiffer Wolf, Jason Kane, Joe Peiffer, or Jason Kane, for a free, no-obligation evaluation of their recovery options, at 585-310-5140.

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