The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) brought and enforcement action against broker Ronald Benevento (Benevento) (FINRA No. 20130353695) alleging that between September 2011 through April 2013 Benevento engaged in unsuitable mutual fund switching activity in three customer accounts in violation of the FINRA Rules. In addition, FINRA alleged that during this time Respondent mismarked 15 order tickets as “unsolicited” causing the books and records of his employer, American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (American Portfolios) to become inaccurate.
Benevento first became associated with a FINRA member in 1997. From 1997 until February 2010, Benevento was a registered representative of AXA Advisors, LLC. Thereafter, from March 2010, until March 2015, Benevento was associated with American Portfolios.
FINRA alleged that, Benevento recommended 29 mutual fund switch transactions in three customer accounts without having reasonable grounds for believing that the transactions were suitable for the those customers due to the frequency of the transactions and the costs incurred due to the switches. In these transactions, FINRA alleged that Benevento recommended that the customers sell Class A mutual fund shares within as little as two to three months after recommending the purchase of them. These purchases were made in different mutual fund families than the previous purchase.