FINRA Files Complaint Against Broker Anthony Diaz

shutterstock_54385804The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) brought a complaint against broker Anthony Diaz (Diaz) concerning a host of industry violations. Diaz entered the securities industry in January 2000 and has been registered with eleven different firms over fourteen years. Diaz is currently employed by IBN Financial Services, Inc., (IBN Financial) since September 2012.

Diaz has a long and troubled history of securities related violations and misconduct. There have been at least 14 customer complaints filed against Diaz, he has been subject to 5 firm terminations, and has two judgments. FINRA also found that Diaz was fired or permitted to resign by six of the eleven member firms with which he was registered for. On or about November 21, 2002, Edward Jones fired Diaz for providing inaccurate information during a supervisory review, was terminated by Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. because it was “no longer comfortable supervising”, was permitted to resign on April 1, 2009, by First Allied Securities, Inc. because he had a history of customer complaints and administrative infractions., was fired by SII Investments, Inc. for unauthorized trading, was fired by Kovack Securities, Inc. because of complaints alleging unauthorized trades, and finally was fired by Sandlapper Securities, LLC for soliciting sales of variable annuities without being properly appointed by the issuing company.

FINRA alleged that from March 2010, through May 2011, Diaz induced approximately eighty customers to enter into variable annuity exchanges causing significant surrender charges without a reasonable basis for recommending these exchanges. FINRA found that each customer invested in the same fund, had the same subaccount allocation, and had the same rider selected. FINRA alleged that Diaz recommended the annuity exchanges without having an understanding of the features of the new product and used the same three invalid justifications for nearly all of these exchanges.

FINRA also found that Diaz engaged in misconduct in connection with the sale of direct participation partnerships (private placements) and real estate investment trusts (REITs) from February 2007, through February 2010. Those private placements include ICON Equipment Leasing, Grubb & Ellis Apartment REIT, and Inland American Real Estate Trust, Inc. FINRA alleged that Diaz falsely told seven customers that the investments were either guaranteed or guaranteed to pay certain amounts of interest. FINRA also determined that Diaz violated the suitability requirements in recommending one of these illiquid products to an 88-year-old customer.

In addition, from March 2007, through April 2011, FINRA alleged that Diaz falsified or caused the falsification of the liquid net worth, net worth, and/or income information for at least nine customers to make it appear that they were eligible to invest in the products described in certain direct participation programs when they were not. FINRA also found that Diaz also altered or caused the alteration of the dates on authorizations to transfer accounts on at least two occasions and forged a customer’s signature on an investor profile form in 2011.

Finally, during 2009 through 2011, FINRA found that Diaz made unauthorized trades in the accounts of at least seven customers. In addition, even though Diaz was fired by or allowed to resign from more than half of the eleven firms at which he worked FINRA alleged that Diaz lied to customers in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 about the reason for leaving four of these firms. FINRA alleged that Diaz led customers to believe he left voluntarily and for their benefit when he in fact had been terminated due to complaints of unauthorized trading, excessive customer complaints, or supervisory issues.

The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors in securities arbitration matters concerning claims of unauthorized trading, variable annuity exchanges, REITs, and private placements. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.

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