Allegations of executing several hundred unauthorized trades and making up a title and position at a clearing firm where he was never an employee have earned for financial advisor Albert DeGaetano a FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) suspension as well as a fine.
The case of unauthorized transactions
Between December 2017 and November 2018, DeGaetano appears to have executed 823 transactions in a single customer’s account generating a bill of $113,000 in trading cost, without his consent or authorization. The value of the trades executed is around $7.2 million. This information is based on the letter of acceptance, waiver, and consent issued by FINRA. The customer has not been named.
In September 2018, six more transactions were executed by DeGaetano, this time in the accounts of three other customers, for a total transaction value of $30,721. These were also executed without the consent or authorization of the account holders.
History in the industry
Though he started in the financial services industry in 1994, he left it in 1997.
His second innings started in 2015, when he joined Edward Jones in Brecksville, Ohio, as reflected on his BrokerCheck record. On account of having “effected transactions and account activity inconsistent with the account’s purpose without speaking with authorized persons,” DeGaetano was discharged by Edward Jones.
He registered with IFS Securities in Independence, Ohio after his discharge from Edward Jones. This was in March 2019. This association did not last long. In September of the same year, he moved to Cabot Lodge Securities in the same town. This was, again, a short tenure, with DeGaetano being discharged in two months for violating the policies of the firm on communication with the public and on private security transactions.
Making himself an unauthorized representative of a clearing firm
During the period of his association with IFS and Cabot Lodge, FINRA has revealed that DeGaetano appears to have arranged for business cards of a clearing firm that was used by both the firms. These cards reflected his position as a ‘Senior Vice President’ in the clearing firm despite never having been employed by it.
In November of 2019, he also made calls to Edward Jones as well as another individual who has not been identified, posing as an employee of the clearing firm.
DeGaetano has agreed to a suspension for 6 months as well as paying a fine of $7,500 without denying or admitting to the findings of FINRA.