The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has barred Ralph Saviano (Saviano) from the securities industry after the broker failed to respond to FINRA’s requests for information and an interview concerning unreported tax liens, a civil judgment, and a customer complaint involving the misuse of funds.
During a routine investigation of Centaurus, FINRA discovered information regarding certain undisclosed liens, judgments, and possible customer loans. Thereafter, in June 2012, Centaurus filed a regulatory tip disclosing that a customer had provided Saviano with a cashier’s check for approximately $66,000 that was made payable to Saviano. Saviano’s transactions with the customer concerned a possible misuse or conversion of funds.
Saviano has been associated with several brokerage firms in the past decade. Until 2004 Saviano was a registered representative of Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. From April 2004 until December 2006, Saviano was associated with USAllianz Securities, Inc. Thereafter, from December 2006 until July 2007, Saviano was a registered representative of Questar Capital Corporation. Finally, Saviano was registered with Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus) until his termination in June 2012. According to Saviano’s FINRA disclosure records he is also the president of Saviano Financial Group.
FINRA requested that Saviano appear for testimony concerning the allegations made. Saviano failed to provide complete responses to FINRA’s requests for information and he failed to appear and provide testimony. For failing to respond in any manner to a FINRA Rule 8210 request for information, the regulator barred Saviano from the industry.
In addition to the FINRA bar, Saviano has also been the subject of several other complaints. First, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities alleged that Saviano engaged in dishonest or unethical business practice in the securities business by borrowing money from his clients and fined Saviano $20,000.
Second, Saviano accepted a consent judgment on a guilty plea on the charge of wire fraud and was ordered to pay nearly $700,000 constituting the proceeds he obtained from known investor victims. Saviano also plead guilty to stealing $138,000 from two elderly investors and using the proceeds to fund his lavish life style. Finally, there are seven pending customer arbitration disputes against Saviano.
The complaints against Saviano range from unsuitable investments to conversion of funds. One complaint alleges that Saviano misrepresented a equipment leasing investment product. Another complaint concerns Saviano’s recommendation of direct participation products, equipment leasing, promissory notes, and a real estate security and alleges that these investments were all high risk and unsuitable for the customer. Another complaint alleging over $700,000 in damages, alleges that Saviano recommended equipment leasing, oil & gas, and real estate related securities. Other complaints allege that Saviano induced a customer to loan Saviano money and in another instance made an unauthorized investment in a promissory note.
The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in investigating claims of financial fraud. Our attorneys can help you detect and uncover suspicious activity in your accounts. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.