Broker Investigation: Wells Fargo Advisor Robert Giusti

shutterstock_119960017The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints against broker Robert Giusti (Giusti). There are at least 4 customer complaints against Giusti and one civil action. The customer complaints against Giusti allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, misrepresentations, negligence, and excessive trading among other claims.

The most recent complaint was filed in April 2015 and alleged unsuitable investments and excessive trading among other claims for investments made between 2010 through June 2015 causing the investor $1,326,374 in damages. A civil judgment was filed against Giusti in April 2015 for $1,100,000. Another complaint filed in January 2012 alleged unsuitable investments and unauthorized use of margin funds causing $45,000.

Giusti entered the securities industry in 1995. From November 2006 through June 2009, Giusti was associated with Citigroup Global Markets Inc. Thereafter, from June 2009 through September 2009, Giusti was briefly associated with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. From August 2009 until December 2013, Giusti was associated with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated. Finally, since December 2013, Giusti has been registered with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC out of the firm’s New York, New York office location.

Brokers have a responsibility treat investors fairly which includes obligations such as making only suitable investments for the client. In order to make a suitable recommendation the broker must meet certain requirements. First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation and due diligence into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.

The number of customer complaints against Giusti is high relative to his peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters. However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck. More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.

The investment fraud attorneys at Gana LLP represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover