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Fired Advisor Wins $24K Arbitration Against Edward Jones, But Sought $900K

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A former Edward Jones advisor was awarded $24,000 after an arbitration panel found that the firm defamed the wealth manager.

Cliff Wingyin Shum, a firm employee for about nine years, failed to convince the panel that he deserved damages of up to $2 million.

Shum, now an independent advisor at Girard Securities, was fired by Edward Jones in 2013, after he was accused of providing incorrect information to FINRA, according to a note currently available in his FINRA BrokerCheck record.

In the same note, Shum, based in Alameda, Calif., denied the allegations.

"Unfortunately, I believe I was set up as a scapegoat to cover up a firm-wide practice that may not have been fully compliant with FINRA regulations," Shum says in the note.

The three-person arbitration panel said in its ruling: The "Edward Jones' termination explanation is defamatory in nature."

The firm declined to comment.

Neither Shum nor his attorney returned phone calls seeking comment.

The panel ruled that Edward Jones must pay Shum $10,000 for defaming its former employee, $7,500 in monetary sanctions, and $6,400 for attorney's fees.

The panel also ordered FINRA to revise Shum’s BrokerCheck record, replacing both the original reason for his termination and the response with this note: "A November 1, 2011 written statement that he provided to FINRA contained inaccurate information. The submission of the inaccurate information may have been unintentional."

The panel also billed the St. Louis-based brokerage firm for the arbitration process: $18,800.

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