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Another broker wins U5 defamation suit against former employer

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A broker who was dismissed from J.P. Morgan Securities nearly two years ago is sleeping much better these days and not just because of his recent $25,000 arbitration award from his former employer.

As part of his arbitration victory, Mihail Naumovski was able to clear up his Form U5, which erroneously indicated that he had violated investment-related regulations while employed at J.P. Morgan, said his attorney, Marc Schifanelli of Annapolis, Maryland.
“With any kind of allegation of a violation of investment laws, you’re not going to get a job, not in this climate,” he said.

J.P. Morgan alleged that Naumovski broke industry regulations by referring potential customers to and receiving referrals from rival firms, when in fact no such regulations or standards of conduct existed, Schifanelli said.

Naumovski breached J.P. Morgan internal policies but not federal or industry rules, Schifanelli argued during the three-day arbitration hearing.

J.P. Morgan policies prohibited reps from referring customers or prospects to outside firms, but they did not bar reps from accepting outside referrals, according to Schifanelli.

Naumovski worked for J.P. Morgan in Los Angeles from November 2014 to June 2016, when he was discharged for allegedly referring bank customers and receiving referrals for auto loans from a third-party financial institution, according to his BrokerCheck report.

J.P. Morgan was ordered to pay Naumovski $25,000 in compensatory damages and to amend the termination explanation on his Form U5 to indicate that he “sent prospective customers, who the bank could not help, to another financial institution.”

Elizabeth Seymour, a spokeswoman for J.P. Morgan, declined to comment on the arbitration.

Naumovski joins another bank rep who too was vindicated last week by a FINRA arbitration panel after accusing the firm of making a false statement on his Form U5. Former Wells Fargo broker Gary Helbling won a $220,000 arbitration award from his former employer and had the defamatory statement changed to say that he was terminated without cause.

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