August 2, 2017 Comments (0) Blog, Current Investigations, Securities Fraud

Roger S. Zullo and LPL Financial Annuity Investigation Update

Roger S. Zullo
(Last Updated On: August 2, 2017)

Roger S. Zullo Barred from the Securities Industry

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority,  Roger S. Zullo has been barred from the securities industry. FINRA states that Zullo failed to produce information requested in the January 2017 investigation into allegations of fraud, falsification, and unsuitability in the administrative complaint filed by the Massachusetts Securities Division.

The Massachusetts Securities Division reportedly charged LPL Financial and broker, Roger S. Zullo, with profiting on sales of unsuitable, illiquid, high-commission variable annuities and violating the firm’s own sales policies.

Roger S. Zullo, a Boston securities broker, allegedly fabricated client risk profiles in order to sell “scores” of annuities from 2013 through April 2016.  He purportedly made $1.8 million in commissions and many of his clients surrendered cost of thousands of dollars, according to the complaint filed by Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin. The majority of the commissions allegedly came from sales of Polaris Platinum III B-share variable annuities sponsored by AIG.

Failure to Supervise

According to FINRA BrokerCheck, Zullo has been registered with LPL beginning in 2004 and had been working in the securities industry since 1988. He was discharged in December 2016.

Zullo’s supervisor allegedly reported to his LPL managers concerns about Zullo’s practice of switching his clients out of variable annuities every six to seven years, right before the surrender period had expired and replacing them with a similar product.

According to reports, LPL allegedly ignored red flags and warnings from Zullo’s supervisors about the formulaic nature of his sales, and rewarded him with a membership in its “Chairman’s Club” for top producers. Zullo allegedly collected 90% of the commissions he produced.

Massachusetts ordered LPL in 2014 to pay $541,000 in restitution to investors who were not properly informed about surrender charges on variable annuities. LPL also paid Illinois regulators and investors $2.8 million in fines and restitution in 2014 for failing to properly document variable annuity exchanges.

Brokerage firms are required to properly supervise all advisors they employ and to ensure that those advisors are complying with applicable FINRA rules and regulations. If it can be demonstrated that Zullo’s former employer failed to properly supervise him, his employer may be held responsible for the losses in a FINRA arbitration claim.

Free Consultation

If you suffered losses investing with Roger Zullo or LPL Financial and would like a free consultation to discuss your litigation options, please call The White Law Group at 1-888-637-5510.

The White Law Group is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida.