According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Anthony Tricario (Tricario), formerly associated with Aegis Capital Corp. (Aegis), has been subject to at least three customer complaints and three regulatory complaints during his career. Several of those complaints against Tricario concern allegations of high frequency trading activity also referred to as churning or excessive trading among other securities laws violations.
In January 2021, FINRA suspended Tricario, finding that he consented to findings that he executed trades in customers’ accounts that were excessive and quantitatively unsuitable given the customers’ investment profiles. Tricarico’s trading in the accounts of three of his firms’ customers generated high cost-to-equity ratios and turnover rates as well as significant losses and commissions.
When brokers engage in excessive trading, sometimes referred to as churning, the broker will typical trade in and out of securities, sometimes even the same stock, many times over a short period of time. Often times the account will completely “turnover” every month with different securities. This type of investment trading activity in the client’s account serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is engaged in only to profit the broker through the generation of commissions created by the trades. Churning is considered a species of securities fraud. The elements of the claim are excessive transactions of securities, broker control over the account, and intent to defraud the investor by obtaining unlawful commissions. A similar claim, excessive trading, under FINRA’s suitability rule involves just the first two elements. Certain commonly used measures and ratios used to determine churning help evaluate a churning claim. These ratios look at how frequently the account is turned over plus whether or not the expenses incurred in the account made it unreasonable that the investor could reasonably profit from the activity.
According to newsources, a study revealed that 7.3% of financial advisors had a customer complaint on their record when records from 2005 to 2015 were examined. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their BrokerCheck reports that include customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, terminations, and criminal cases. In addition, research has shown a disturbing pattern with troublesome brokers where brokers with high numbers of customer complaints are not kicked out of the industry but instead these brokers are sifted to lower quality brokerage firms with loose hiring practices and higher rates of customer complaints. These lower quality firms may average brokers with five times as many complaints as the industry average.
Mr. Tricario entered the securities industry in 1982. From March 2010 through July 2020, Mr. Tricario was associated with Aegis Capital out of the firm’s New York, New York office location.
Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.