According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Michael Fasciglione (Fasciglione) has been the subject of at least 11 customer complaints and two regulatory actions. The customer complaints against Fasciglione allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and churning (excessive trading), breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, fraud, misrepresentation, and failure to supervise among other claims. The customer complaints stem from 1995 through 2014 and total allegations of investor losses of multiple millions of dollars.
Fasciglione’s first regulatory action occurred in 2004, when the NYSE initiated an action for alleging that Fasciglione failed to supervise the activities of an employee related to the business of his employer; failing to supervise accounts serviced by a registered representative under his control; failing to ensure proper authorization of account designation changes, along with several other allegations. As a result, of the complaint Fasciglione was suspended for two months and required to re-take any qualifying exams before undertaking any securities supervisory positions.
Fasciglione’s latest regulatory complaint alleges that in or about March 2010, while the IRS filed a $354,752 tax lien against Fasciglione for the tax years 2007 and 2008. An amended Form U4 was filed on November 26, 2012, but FINRA found that this filing was untimely.
Fasciglione entered the securities industry in 1988. From May 2004, until February 2007, Fasciglione was associated with First Montauk Securities Corp. Thereafter, from January 2007, till present Fasciglione has been registered as a broker with National Securities Corporation out of Mineola, New York.
All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including making suitable investment recommendations. Many of the claims against Fasciglione involving claims of unauthorized trading, churning, and excessive trading.
Advisors are not allowed to engage in unauthorized trading. Such trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior authority from the investor. The broker must first discuss all trades with the investor before executing them under NYSE Rule 408(a) and FINRA Rules 2510(b). These rules explicitly prohibit brokers from making discretionary trades in a customers’ non-discretionary accounts. The SEC has also found that unauthorized trading to be fraudulent nature.
Unauthorized trading often accompanies claims of churning, or investment trading activity in the client’s account serves no reasonable purpose for the investor and is transacted to profit the broker. The elements to establish a churning claim, which is considered a species of securities fraud, 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.
The number of complaints and regulatory actions against Fasciglione is relatively large by industry standards. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must disclose different types of events, not necessarily all of which are customer complaints. These disclosures can include IRS tax liens, judgments, and even criminal matters.
Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases where their broker has acted inappropriately. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.