FINRA has suspended financial advisors Wenru Liang (“Liang”) and Jenny Xinfang Feng (“Feng”) from the securities industry for a six-month period. Neither is currently associated with any FINRA member.
FINRA found that Liang and Feng engaged in unethical conduct between April 2017 and August 2020 by designating themselves as beneficiaries on an elderly customer’s variable annuity policy. The customer was not related to Liang or Feng. FINRA also found that they had misrepresented their relationship with the customer to the annuity company and attempted to conceal their conduct from their firm, Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. (“Transamerica”).
In addition to their six-month suspension, Liang and Feng were also fined $7,500 each.
If you have lost money with Wenru Liang, Jenny Xinfang Feng, or with their firm Transamerica, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.
Both Liang and Feng entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (“AWC”) with FINRA over the following findings:
- In May 2007, an elderly customer purchased a variable annuity through another FINRA member and designated her family members as beneficiaries.
- In January 2013, she opened an account at Transamerica with Liang.
- In April 2017, Liang and Feng assisted the customer in changing the beneficiaries on the annuity. The customer was then a vulnerable 87-year widow living by herself in an assisted living facility. During a call with the annuity company, Feng with Liang present claimed that she was calling for “grandma” and requested that a change of beneficiary form be sent to Feng’s personal email address. They did not identify themselves as registered representatives associated with Transamerica.
- On May 1, 2017, Liang and Feng assisted the customer in completing a beneficiary change form. The form listed four primary beneficiaries with equal 25% shares, two of whom were Feng and Liang. The beneficiary change form falsely represented to the annuity company that Liang’s “relationship to owner” was “sister,” and Feng’s “relationship to owner” was “granddaughter.”
- On May 2, 2017, Liang participated in a follow-up call with the annuity company to confirm receipt of the beneficiary change form. During that call, Feng again falsely represented that she was the customer’s granddaughter. Neither identified themselves as registered representatives associated with Transamerica nor did Liang correct Feng’s misstatement that the customer was her grandmother. The annuity company confirmed the beneficiary change on the same day.
- In May 2018, the customer’s family members discovered that Liang and Feng were designated as the customer’s beneficiaries, and the designations were changed to remove them. Liang and Feng never disclosed to Transamerica that they were named beneficiaries on the customer’s variable annuity, including after the customer’s family members complained to the firm.
- In February 2019, during an internal review, Liang and Feng denied being beneficiaries of the customer’s accounts or policies in response to a firm’s email. In August 2020, Liang and Feng continued to deny being the customer’s beneficiaries during an interview with firm compliance personnel.
Wenru Liang (CRD#: 5157279)
Liang first registered with FINRA in March 2008 as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative through an association with World Group Securities, Inc. In January 2012, Liang registered with FINRA through an association with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. after her prior firm was acquired by Transamerica.
On August 7, 2020, Transamerica filed a Form U5 (Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration) disclosing that Liang was discharged for the conduct described above.
Jenny Xinfang Feng (CRD#: 6312900)
Feng first registered with FINRA in June 2014 as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative through an association with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
On August 7, 2020, Transamerica filed a Form U5 (Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration) disclosing that Feng was discharged for the conduct described above.
Transamerica: A Duty to Supervise
Financial institutions, like Transamerica, must properly supervise financial advisors and customer accounts. Brokerage firms are required to establish and maintain a reasonably designed system to oversee account activity, and to supervise its financial advisors, to ensure compliance with securities laws and industry regulations. When a brokerage firm fails to sufficiently supervise its financial advisors or the investment account activity, it may be liable for investment losses sustained by customers.
How to Recover Losses or Obtain a Free Consultation
If you have lost money with Wenru Liang and Jenny Xinfang Feng, contact New York securities arbitration lawyer Jorge Altamirano of Iorio Altamirano LLP at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at (855) 430-4010 for a free and confidential evaluation of your account. Iorio Altamirano LLP is a securities arbitration law firm based in New York, NY. We pursue FINRA arbitration claims nationwide on behalf of investors to recover financial losses arising out of wrongful conduct by financial advisors and brokerage firms.