The Investor’s Watchdog

The Investor's Watchdog

Former New York Wells Fargo Clearing Services Broker Consents to FINRA Sanctions to Resolve Allegations of Making Unsuitable Recommendations

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Department of Enforcement recently approved a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) submitted by Elizabeth Guarino, a registered representative formerly associated with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC in Woodbury, New York from May 2008 to November 2017.

According to the AWC approved by FINRA Department of Enforcement on November 1, 2019, Guarino violated FINRA Rule 2111 and 2010 by recommending at least 12 speculative securities transactions to an elderly customer that were unsuitable for the customer’s investment profile and strategies. From March 2014 to April 2016, Guarino made unsuitable investment recommendations for this customer to invest in oil and gas limited partnerships, “whose credit rating was junk.” For example, Guarino recommended that the customer invest $85,000 in Breitburn Energy Partners even though the prospectus disclosed that earnings were inadequate to cover fixed charges between December 31, 2009 and March 31, 2014 and any proceeds raised from the preferred securities would be applied to reduce outstanding debt. When Breitburn filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2016, the customer sustained losses of over $74,000. The customer also suffered another $150,000 in losses due to Guarino’s unsuitable recommendations in at least 10 other transactions in three different oil and gas limited partnerships.

By signing the AWC, Guarino consented, without admitting or denying the allegations made against her by FINRA, to a fifteen-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity, a $10,000 fine and requalification by examination the General Securities License. Guarino is not currently registered with a FINRA member brokerage firm.

If a broker was not properly supervised while registered at a brokerage firm, the firm can be held liable for the broker’s misconduct. Did you invest with Elizabeth Guarino at Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC and lose money? If so, you may be able to recover from her or Wells Fargo Clearing Services. Since 1998, the attorneys at ChapmanAlbin have been representing victims of investment fraud and broker misconduct. Call us today at 1-877-410-8172 for a free, no obligation consultation.

Author: Jason T. Albin

Jason Albin is an Attorney and Partner at ChapmanAlbin, the investor rights law firm. He has represented hundreds of investors who have lost money due to broker misconduct, unsuitable investment advice and fraud.​ Jason also represents individuals in “whistleblower” suits filed against unscrupulous companies that try to defraud the US federal and state governments.

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