Finra has barred a former Ameriprise Financial Services advisor who left the company after he was accused of churning and flipping his elderly clients' accounts and encouraging them to  surrender their annuities and mutual fund holdings and use the proceeds to purchase bonus annuities.

Finra said in its order that Francis Joseph Velten, who worked at the Ameriprise office in New Port Richey, Fla., was barred from the industry after he failed to respond to Finra investigators' request for information on the matter.

Velten, who was with Ameriprise from January 27, 2020 to April 28, 2020, resigned after the firm asked him about his trading for elderly customers while he was associated Summit Brokerage Inc., Finra said. According to BrokerCheck, Velten was with Summit from 2006 to 2018.

Finra alleged Velten’s trading, which occurred away from Summit, caused his customers to incur significant surrender charges, while he benefited from the commissions. Finra said it sought information from Velten about the accusations on four separate occasions, but Velten failed to respond to the requests.

“Velten’s failure to respond to regulatory requests deprived Finra of his information and documents and frustrated Finra's ability to fulfill its regulatory responsibilities. There is no evident excuse or justification for Velten’s repeated failure to respond to Finra's requests,” Finra said.

Velten’s BrokerCheck record shows nine customer disputes. He began his career with A.G. Edwards in 1993 and moved to Gunnallen Financial Inc. in 2006 before joining Summit. He left for Independent Financial Group in 2019 where he worked for less than two years before joining Ameriprise.