Gana LLP Broker Spotlight: Pasquale “Pat” Vitucci Sales of Variable Annuities

shutterstock_128856874According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Pasquale “Pat” Vitucci (Vitucci) has been the subject of at least 19 customer complaints over the course of his career. Customers have filed complaints against Vitucci alleging that the broker made unsuitable investments primarily in variable annuity related products. Other claims concerning Vitucci’s handling of customer accounts include allegations of misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, churning, and fraud. In total investors have complained of over $1 million in losses.

Vitucci has been registered with FINRA since 1992. From October 2005 until October 2008, Vitucci was registered with AIG Financial Advisors, Inc. Thereafter, Vitucci has been associated with National Planning Corporation (National Planning). According to public records Vitucci operates out of a DBA business called Vitucci & Associates Insurance Services.

All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including making suitable investment recommendations. Thus, the product or investment strategy being recommended must be appropriate for the investor and the advisers must convey the potential risks and rewards before bringing it to an investor’s attention.

In the case variable annuities, these products are complex financial and insurance products. In fact, recently the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a publication entitled: Variable Annuities: What You Should Know encouraging investors to ask questions about the variable annuity before investing. Essentially, a variable annuity is a contract with an insurance company under which the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you. A variable annuity contract may be purchased by making either a single purchase payment or a series of purchase payments over time. The investor chooses the investments made in the annuity and value of your variable annuity will vary depending on the performance of the investment options chosen. The primary benefits of variable annuities are the death benefit and tax deferment of investment gains.

However, the benefits of variable annuities are often outweighed by the terms of the contract that include exorbitant expenses such as surrender charges, mortality and expense charges, management fees, market-related risks, and rider costs.

The number of complaints made by investors against Vitucci 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 of unsuitable investments and brokerage firm’s failure to supervise their representatives. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.

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