According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) financial advisor Bruce Ciallella (Ciallella), currently employed by Cabot Lodge Securities LLC (Cabot Lodge) has been subject to at least seven customer complaints during the course of his career. Ciallella’s customer complaints alleges that Ciallella recommended unsuitable investments in various investments and makes allegations including fraud, excessive trading, unsuitable investments, concentrated stock positions, failure to properly manage account, unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentation and omissions among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.
In November 2019 a customer complained that Ciallella violated the securities laws by alleging that Ciallella made investments recommendations from 2015 to 2018 that the client alleges involved self-dealing and fraud, excessive trading, unsuitable investments, concentrated stock positions, failure to properly manage account, unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation and omissions, and violation of the Florida securities and investor protection act. The claim alleges $300,670.64 in damages and is currently pending.
Another claim brought in October 2011 from a customer complained that Ciallella violated the securities laws by alleging that Ciallella made investments recommendations that were illegal. The claim alleged $150,000 in damages and settled for $20,000.
Brokers are required under the securities laws to treat their clients fairly. This obligation includes the duties to disclose material risks of the investments they recommend and to present products, particularly complex or confusing products, in a fair and balanced manner that allows the client to evaluate the recommendation. Another important obligation advisors have is to make only suitable recommendations for investments to the client. There are many investments that are not appropriate for the majority of investors or for certain investors given their risk tolerance, age, and other factors. Advisors should not present these investment options to clients. There are two screens that advisors must employ to determine whether an investment is suitable for a client. First, there must be a reasonable basis for the recommendation – meaning that the product has been investigated and due diligence conducted into the investment’s features, benefits, risks, and other relevant factors. The advisor must conclude that the investment is suitable for at least some investors and some securities may be suitable for no one. 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.
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 show 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.
Ciallella entered the securities industry in 1980. From March 2005 until October 2017 Ciallella was registered with Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. From October 2017 until September 2019 Ciallella was associated with IFS Securities. Since September 2019 Ciallella has been associated with Cabot Lodge out of the firm’s Boca Raton, Florida 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.