Goodman & Nekvasil P.A., May Recover Investor Losses | Justin DeStefano, Financial Advisor Suspended from Securities Industry
From 2009 until Justin DeStefano’s discharge in 2014, Justin DeStefano was licensed with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated. Justin DeStefano was subsequently licensed with Securities America, Inc. According to FINRA’s records, Justin DeStefano was discharged from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated on May 19, 2014. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated reported to FINRA that Justin DeStefano was accused of conduct involving potentially mismarking order tickets for certain transactions in client accounts and recommending securities not covered by the Firm.
According to FINRA’s records, Justin DeStefano was subsequently fired by Securities America, Inc. on February 4, 2015. Securities America, Inc. reported to FINRA that Justin DeStefano was accused of failing to follow Firm’s policies.
Subsequent to Justin DeStefano’s firing, FINRA investigated Justin DeStefano and brought a disciplinary action against Justin DeStefano. Justin DeStefano consented to a 3-month suspension from the securities and investment banking industry and a $10,000 fine on March 9, 2016. Justin DeStefano also consented to the entry of findings that Justin DeStefano exercised discretion in customers’ accounts and executed trades without written authorization from the customers and without obtaining prior written acceptance of the accounts as discretionary from Justin DeStefano’s member firm. The findings stated that Justin DeStefano mismarked over 100 order tickets as unsolicited when, in fact, the trades were solicited, thereby causing the firm to maintain inaccurate books and records.
FINRA reports that 3 complaints and/or arbitration claims have been filed involving Justin DeStefano’s conduct with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and/or Securities America, Inc., alleging excessive trading, unauthorized and unsuitable transactions and/or misrepresentation. These complaints and/or arbitration claims all settled, with the largest settling for $127,500.
FINRA also reports that an arbitration claim involving Justin DeStefano’s conduct with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Securities America, Inc. has been filed, alleging Justin DeStefano engaged in discretionary trading and overconcentrated claimants’ accounts in unsuitable stocks. Additional allegations are negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. This arbitration claim is currently pending.
If you lost money on investments with Justin DeStefano and believe that the investments may have been unsuitable or otherwise improper for you, we would like to discuss the possibility of your retaining our firm to represent you in an arbitration action against Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and/or Securities America, Inc. concerning Justin DeStefano’s conduct. There is no charge for an evaluation of your case. Further, we handle our cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless we recover money for you, we charge no attorney’s fee. Unless you recover any money, you pay us nothing, not even the costs and expenses which the firm will advance on your behalf.
Goodman & Nekvasil, P.A. has recovered approximately $180 million on behalf of victimized investors. If you lost money on investments with Justin DeStefano and would like your case evaluated by a securities attorney (again, there is no charge for an evaluation and all cases are handled on a purely contingency fee basis), please contact us.
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