Broker Investigation: Financial Advisor Salvatore Pizzimenti

shutterstock_115937266According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Salvatore Pizzimenti (Pizzimenti) has been the subject of at least 4 customer complaints. Customers have filed complaints against Pizzimenti alleging securities law violations including claims of churning and excessive trading, unsuitable investments, excessive commissions, unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud among other claims. In 2013, a customer complained that Pizzimenti churned their account causing $500,000 in damages. In August 2012, another customer also complained that Pizzimenti recommended a high risk private placement and also charged excessive fees causing $1,000,000 in damages.

Pizzimenti entered the securities industry in 2004. From January 2007, until January 2009, Pizzimenti was registered with Pointe Capital, Inc. From January 2009, until February 2010, Pizzimenti was associated with National Securities Corporation. From February 2010, until August 2011, Pizzimenti was a registered representative of J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. Since August 2011, Pizzimenti has been associated with Legend Securities, Inc. out of the firm’s New York, New York office location.

All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including making suitable investment recommendations. In order to make suitable recommendations the broker must have a reasonable basis for recommending the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation of the investments properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. In addition, the broker must also understand the customer’s specific investment objectives to determine whether or not the specific product or security being recommended is appropriate for the customer based upon their needs.

The number of customer complaints against Pizzimenti 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.

Gana Weinstein LLP represents investors who have suffered investment losses due to broker wrongdoing, such as unsuitable investments. 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.

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