Broker Robert Acri Barred Over Failure to Respond to FINRA Investigation

shutterstock_180735251The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently barred broker Robert Acri (Acri) concerning allegations that in December 2013, and January 2014, Acri failed to fully respond to a Rule 8210 request for documents and information concerning Acri’s sale of alternative investments and promissory notes.

Acri first entered the securities industry in 1988. From December 2007 through April 2009, Acri was associated with Chicago Investment Group, LLC. After that, he was representative with Spyglass Securities, LLC from June 2010 through June 2011. Acri was last associated with World Equity Group, Inc. from June 25, 2012 through June 6, 2013. World Equity Group terminated Acri by a Form U5 filed on June 10, 2013.

According to Acri’s BrokerCheck Acri listed his outside business activities as being involved in The Synergy Fund, Synergy Private Capital Fund, Kam Private Fund all of which is listed as investment related. In addition, the disclosures state that Acri is the president of IRCA Coporation.

According to FINRA, its Department of Enforcement commenced an investigation concerning Acri and his involvement in the sale of alternative investments, including defaulted promissory notes. As part of the investigation, FINRA served a Rule 8210 request in December 2013. FINRA determined that Acri provided only a partial and incomplete response and did not substantially comply with all aspects of the requests for FINRA’s investigation. As a result Acri was barred by FINRA.

Part of FINRA’s investigation involved the sale of promissory notes. Promissory notes are legal instruments where the issuer promises to pay a sum of money either at a fixed time. Promissory notes often pay the investor interest during the period that the note is outstanding. Promissory notes often fail to meet the Securities and Exchange Commission’s registration requirements under Regulation D and individual state registration requirements. This is especially so when brokers issue promissory notes to their clients and the general public. Because promissory notes are typically not registered they are extremely risky investments and investors who are sold promissory notes often suffer a complete loss of their principal investment.

Often times brokerage firms fail to supervise the sale of promissory notes of their brokers. When this happens the promissory notes are “sold away” from the firm. That is the securities are not approved by the broker’s affiliated firm or recorded on the firm’s books and records. Selling away is prohibited under the FINRA rules including FINRA Rule 3040, as well as other securities laws.

The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors to recover their financial losses concerning alternative investments and promissory notes. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.