FINRA filed a complaint against Giovanni Acevedo of Wilton Manors, Florida for allegedly converting client funds for his own personal use. While no longer registered with a firm, Acevedo served as the registered agent, manager and authorized agent for ACE Capital Investments (a Florida liability company) and was the sole owner of ACE between 2010 and 2014. At the time, he was registered with Voya Financial Advisors, also known as ING Financial Partners.
FINRA alleges that between January 2009 and March 2014 Acevedo converted $160,000 of customers’ funds for his own personal use. The allegations are that Acevedo recommended at least one client to invest in “ACI Capital Investment” and represented that he would invest the client’s funds via check on her behalf. The client allegedly gave Acevedo a personal check for $68,000 which he was to deposit in ACI Capital Investment. However, Acevedo allegedly changed the payee line to read ACE Capital Investment (his Florida liability company). In addition, Acevedo allegedly created false document for his client that reflected an open balance of $68,000 and a 7.5% semi-annual return or a period of 36 months while those funds were never actually invested.
Acevedo also recommended further investments for the client, instructing that they provide him with signed personal checks that left the dollar amount and name of payee blank. Acevedo claimed that he had not yet determined the names and amounts of the investments. The client gave Acevedo 21 checks for which he allegedly either cashed in or deposited in a personal account. Between January 2009 and March 2013 FINRA alleges Acevedo converted $145,848.42 of his clients’ funds for his own use.
Acevedo also allegedly converted funds for two other clients netting him around $17,000 by recommending investments and cashing their checks without actually investing anything. While giving an on-the-record testimony, FINRA also alleges that Acevedo gave false information regarding the appropriation of client funds between 2009 and 2014 claiming that the checks were reimbursements for loans.
If the allegations are proven, Acevedo will have violated FINRA Rules 2150, 8210 and 2010 for his alleged conversion of customer funds and false testimony on-the-record. The FINRA Department of Enforcement has requested that the Panel make specific findings on Acevedo’s alleged conversions and require Acevedo to pay full restitution to investors for an amount in excess of $162,848.42.
Stockbrokers have been known to engage in many types of practices which violate industry and firm rules, practices, and procedures including conversion of client funds. In order to protect customers from stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require broker-dealers like Voya Financial Advisors to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system. The implementation of the rules require supervisors to monitor employees to ensure they comply with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, and the firm’s own policies and procedures. If broker dealers and/or their supervisors do not establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to investors for damages which flow from the misconduct. As a result, investors who have suffered losses because of their stockbroker’s unlawful or prohibited conduct can file a claim to recover damages against broker dealers like Voya Financial Advisors, which should consistently oversee its employees in order to prevent stockbroker misconduct.
Have you suffered losses in your Voya Financial Advisors investment account due to your stockbroker’s misconduct? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against Voya stockbrokers for conversion, unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentations, and/or other unauthorized and illegal conduct.
The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 40 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities, and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, send Mr. Pearce an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or visit our website at www.secatty.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.