George Abbott Berry, Registered Representative, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

FINRA Investment and Securities Fraud, Misrepresentation and Mismanagement Attorney, Russell L. Forkey, Esq.

January, 2011:

George Abbott Berry (CRD #4319797, Registered Representative, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, formerly licensed with Allstate Financial Services, LLC.) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Berry consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he serviced a brokerage account a relative held but did not have power of attorney or discretionary authorization over the account. The findings stated that Berry failed to report his relative's death to his member firm, and after leaving the firm, he removed funds from the account totaling $70,000 by requesting checks be drawn on the account, sent to her listed address, which was the same as Berry's home CRD address, and deposited the checks in a joint checking account he shared with his relative. The findings also stated that when Berry submitted a written withdrawal request to the firm for $10,000, the firm discovered that the signature did not match the signature on file for the customer and froze the brokerage account after Berry acknowledged his relative's death with the firm's customer relations staff. The findings also included that the firm amended Berry's Form U5 to reflect an internal review of his withdrawals and his failure to advise the firm of his relative's death.  (FINRA Case #2009017596901).