Each month, the agency that regulates the financial industry, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), produces a detailed report that runs down all disciplinary actions recently taken against brokerage firms and brokers. We strongly encourage any investor who suspects their broker and/or broker-dealer of having lost them money on dubious terms to at least skim this report to see if you recognize any names, schemes, products, or securities.
For our part, we like to pick out some of the highlights from each report. Specifically, we’re looking for schemes or abuses that might be more far-reaching than the individual cases brought through the FINRA arbitration process.
FINRA Firms & Brokers, Fined & Sanctioned
Securities America, Inc. was censured and required to provide FINRA with a remediation plan to remediate eligible customers who qualified for, but did not receive, the applicable mutual fund salescharge waiver. As part of this settlement, the firm agrees to pay restitution to eligible customers, which is estimated to total $1,541,419 (the amount eligible customers were overcharged, inclusive of interest). Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that it disadvantaged certain retirement plan and charitable organization customers that were eligible to purchase Class A shares in certain mutual funds without a front-end sales charge. The findings stated that these eligible customers were instead sold Class A shares with a front-end sales charge or Class B or C shares with back-end sales charges and higher ongoing fees and expenses.
Individual Brokers Barred, Suspended, or Fined
Frank Stephen Boscarino of Clinton, Michigan
Without admitting or denying the findings, Boscarino consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he wrote fictitious auto insurance policies in the names of different households in order to meet production requirements and obtain additional compensation from his member firm’s affiliated insurance company. The findings stated that all of the names used on the fictitious auto policies were individuals related to Boscarino. In addition, Boscarino used vehicle information for the fictitious policies that he obtained from quotes and policies provided to other individuals
David Charles Cannata of Smithtown, New York
Cannata was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity and ordered to pay $1,566,298.14, plus interest, in restitution to customers. The sanctions were based on findings that Cannata made unsuitable recommendation and excessively traded in customer accounts at his member firm. The findings stated that Cannata had de facto control over the customer accounts and made all investment decisions. Cannata’s trading strategy in each client’s account generated extraordinary levels of activity inconsistent with the clients’ objectives and financial circumstances. The clients sustained losses ranging from $114,171 to $1,263,527
Elliot Harris of Delray, Florida
Harris was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Harris consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to provide FINRA with requested documents and information during the course of its investigation into allegations that he recommended unsuitable trades and engaged in unauthorized trading.
Erica D. Licciardello of West Palm Beach, Florida
Licciardello was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Licciardello consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she failed to provide FINRA with documents and information during the course of an investigation into allegations that she effected multiple fraudulent electronic fund transfers between her personal bank accounts and her personal firm brokerage account.
Nathan Silva of Pasadena, Maryland
Silva was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Silva consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for FINRA on-the-record testimony as part of an investigation into allegations of misconduct against him.
George Anthony Zedan of Whittier, California
Zedan was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Zedan consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he made improper use of and converted an elderly customer’s funds.
FINRA Securities Litigation Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been a victim of investment fraud or broker misconduct, please contact our team of securities lawyers toll-free immediately for a free consultation at 1-888-462-3330 or via our online contact form.