Broker Nicholas Schiano Subject to Customer Complaints Over Investment Recommendations

The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Nicholas Schiano (Schiano), currently employed by Spartan Capital Securities, LLC (Spartan Capital) has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Schiano’s customer complaints allege that Schiano recommended unsuitable investments, and committed negligence, misrepresentations, and breach of fiduciary duty among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In April 2019 a customer complained that Schiano violated the securities laws by alleging misrepresentations, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty resulting in $208,000. The claim settled for $32,500.

In August 2017 a customer complained that Schiano violated the securities laws by alleging unsuitable transactions causing $128,541 in damages. The claim settled for $35,000.

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.

Schiano entered the securities industry in 2001.  From June 2012 through August 2013 Schiano was registered with Joseph Gunnar & Co. LLC.  From August 2013 through November 2016 Schiano was registered with now expelled firm Legend Securities, Inc.  From November 2016 until September 2017 Schiano was associated with Worden Capital Management LLC.  Finally, since August 2017 Schiano has been associated with Spartan 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.