Articles Tagged with Leon Vaccarelli

shutterstock_172105349-199x300The investment lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claiming that financial advisor Leon Vaccarelli (Vaccarelli) defrauded his elderly clients out of more than $1 million.

According to FinancialPlanning, the SEC filed a complaint in federal court in New Haven alleging Vaccarelli engaged in a Ponzi scheme for more than four years. To pay his mortgage and other personal expenses, Vaccarelli allegedly did not put client funds in conventional brokerage accounts as promised and instead had some clients write checks payable directly to him and used the funds to pay for his expenses or to repay earlier investors.

Upon information and belief, as of September 7, 2017, Gana Weinstein LLP is the only firm to have brought civil claims in arbitration to help investors recovery their money from this Ponzi Scheme.

shutterstock_138129767The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints against broker Leon Vaccarelli (Vaccarelli). The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) brought an enforcement action (FINRA No. 2014042302001) against Vaccarelli. In addition, there are at least two customer complaints against Vaccarelli and two judgements or liens. The customer complaints against Vaccarelli allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker misrepresented investments and mismanaged the account among other claims.

In a FINRA regulatory action against Vaccarelli, the agency alleged that between 2011 through 2015 Vaccarelli exercised discretion in four customers’ accounts. FINRA found that Vaccarelli exercised discretion even though he did not have written authorization from the customers to place discretionary trades. In addition, Vaccarelli’s brokerage firm had not approved and accepted the accounts as discretionary. FINRA also found that on four annual compliance questionnaires between 2011 and 2014, Vaccarelli falsely certified that he did not handle any customer accounts on a discretionary basis.

Advisors are not allowed to engage in unauthorized trading. Such trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior authority from the investor. All brokers are under an obligation to first discuss 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 because no disclosure could be more important to an investor than to be made aware that a trade will take place.

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