July 11, 2018 Comments (0) Blog, Current Investigations, Securities Fraud

SEC Bars Roger Zullo for Unsuitable VA Sales

Roger Zullo

Update – Roger Zullo – LPL Financial – Boston, MA

According to a July 6th press announcement, the Securities and Exchange Commission has barred Roger Zullo, a former LPL Financial advisor, over alleged unsuitable sales of variable annuities.

The Massachusetts Securities Division previously filed an administrative complaint against Zullo in 2016 alleging fabrication of client suitability profiles and unsuitable recommendations of variable annuities, in violation of Sections 101, 102 and 204(a)(2)(G) of the Massachusetts Uniform Securities Act.

Zullo, based in Boston, MA, 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 were forced to pay large surrender charges, 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.

According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Zullo was registered with LPL Financial from 2004 until he was dismissed in December 2016. He has four customer complaints listed on his broker report.

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.

Failure to Supervise

In 2014, Massachusetts ordered LPL to pay $541,000 in restitution to investors who were not properly informed about surrender charges on variable annuities. Similarly, LPL 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.

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.