A politically active advisor says the Nebraska banking department and LPL took steps to discipline him without telling him why -- while ex-clients question his annuity sales practices.
Bob Bennie is well known in Lincoln circles as a local Republican party leader and now as an organizer of the local Tea Party movement.
However, he's also an advisor, and that's where his story gets complicated. Bennie claims that he was prevented from marketing activities for three months on solely political grounds: he called President Obama a "communist" back in February 2010.
He's now suing the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance to uncover the details of the case and recover a somewhat high sum of $6.43 million, which he says not being able to promote his business for a quarter cost him in lost revenue.
To complicate the story, Bennie's also fielded several complaints from clients over the years who say he put them in unsuitable annuities or churned their accounts to drum up fees.
None of the claims have stuck -- his Brokercheck report shows a lot of technically correct behavior -- but at least two FINRA arbitration cases against Bennie and his old firm, LPL, are still pending.
Meanwhile, LPL took the unusual step of terminating Bennie's independent relationship with the firm because, they say, he copied client signatures on paperwork.
Bennie -- who is now with Prospera -- is fighting that too, claiming that it's untrue, unproven, and inflammatory.
The truth will eventually come out. In the meantime, I'm still trying to get my head around that $6.43 million in compensatory damages.
Bennie manages about $75 million and reportedly claims that being out of the game for three months robbed him of $25 million in lost business. What kind of fees is he charging?