Christopher John Passero of Hurricane, West Virginia, a stockbroker currently registered with Money Concepts Capital Corp, has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended for three months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity founded on findings that Passero shared in customers’ losses when he was registered with Money Concepts Capital Corp. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2020066345701 (April 11, 2022).
According to the AWC, Passero recommended that customers invest in real estate investment trusts. The customers who purchased REITs experienced losses. The AWC states that Passero made $249,560.00 in payments to nine investors who bought real estate securities.
Passero was prohibited from sharing in customer losses unless his employing securities broker-dealer knew and authorized it, according to policy. He did not make Money Concepts Capital Corp aware of the arrangements – as the firm only identified those payments following customers’ arbitration claims. Passero violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 2150(c) for this reason. Passero also loaned customer funds without authorization, violating FINRA Rules 2010 and 3240.
Passero has been identified in five customer initiated investment related disputes regarding accusations of his conduct during the time that he was employed by Money Concepts Capital Corp. FINRA Public Disclosure shows that a customer filed an investment related complaint regarding Passero’s activities where the customer sought $98,167.00 in damages supported by allegations of Inland REIT being unsuitable for the customer. The complaint alleges that the purchase of the real estate security violated state law.
Another customer filed an investment related complaint concerning Passero’s conduct in which the customer requested $124,000.00 in damages based upon accusations of the customer’s assets being invested in illiquid products, resulting in losses.
Passero is also referenced in a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim in which the customer requested $150,000.00 in damages supported by accusations of fraud, unsuitable trading, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, violation of West Virginia Securities Act, and violation of federal securities laws concerning the customer’s investments in direct investments including GPB while Passero was employed by Money Concepts Capital Corp. FINRA Arbitration No. 21-00073 (February 1, 2021).
Passero is identified in another customer initiated investment related civil action which was resolved for $90,000.00 in damages on June 25, 2021, based upon allegations of omissions, unsuitable investments, nondisclosures, misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud relating to the customer’s investment in a non-traded real estate investment trust. Civil Action No. 20-c-246.
On August 24, 2021, an additional customer filed an investment related complaint involving Passero’s conduct where the customer sought $17,000.00 in damages founded on allegations that they received less of a distribution from their account than they were supposed to receive.
Passero has been associated with Money Concepts Capital Corp as a stockbroker since May 22, 1998, and has been associated with Money Concepts Advisory Services as an investment adviser representative since February 18, 1999.