Aldo Comuzzi, a registered representative with Dawson James Securities Inc., was permanently barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm in any capacity after consenting to findings that he failed to cooperate with a FINRA investigation in connection with allegations that Comuzzi improperly utilized discretion without written approval in certain of his firm customer’s accounts. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2014043592101 (Sept. 23, 2015). Dawson James Securities, Inc. discharged Comuzzi on September 30, 2014, in connection with allegations that he took discretion in regards to servicing the accounts of a client.

According to the AWC, in 2014, FINRA commenced an investigation into whether Comuzzi had engaged in excessive trading and whether he had improperly utilized discretion without written approval in certain of his DJSI customer’s accounts. Pursuant to Rule 8210, FINRA had sent a request to Comuzzi in September, 2015, for information and documentation regarding such allegations. When FINRA spoke with Comuzzi’s counsel on September 9, 2015, counsel indicated that Comuzzi received FINRA’s requests but that Comuzzi would not be providing the information and documentation requested of him at any point. Consequently, FINRA found Comuzzi’s refusal to cooperate to be in violation of FINRA Rule 8210 and 2010, leading to his permanent bar.

FINRA registered representatives like Comuzzi who do not cooperate with FINRA’s investigations often face a permanent bar from practicing in the securities industry as such lack of cooperation violates FINRA’s Rule 8210 – requiring that no member or person shall fail to provide information or testimony or permit an inspection and copying of books, records, or accounts pursuant to the rule. FINRA typically accompanies a Rule 8210 violation with a Rule 2010 violation when individuals, according to FINRA, do not appear to observe high standards for commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.

Public disclosure records via FINRA’s BrokerCheck reveal that Comuzzi settled a customer dispute on June 1, 2015, for $65,000.00 after a client alleged that the registered representative used his unauthorized discretion while servicing accounts.

By definition, a broker is liable for making unauthorized trades without the customer’s prior authorization. Absent written discretion, it is a violation of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5, as promulgated thereunder, to effect transactions in customer accounts without their prior authorization or consent.

Customers also have a duty to review securities purchase and sale confirmations and review their securities accounts. If a stockbroker has placed unauthorized transactions in a customer account, the customer under most circumstances has a duty to act, or a duty to complain, or else generally, the customer may be deemed to have ratified these transactions, with actual or imputed knowledge, by doing nothing. Under such circumstances, a customer’s damages may be limited to the time they knew or should have known about the unauthorized transactions.

Guiliano Law Group

If you have been the victim of securities fraud and you have a complaint, you should consult with an attorney. The practice of Nicholas J. Guiliano, Esquire, and The Guiliano Law Group, P.C., is limited to the representation of investors in claims for fraud in connection with the sale of securities, the sale or recommendation of excessively risky or unsuitable securities, breach of fiduciary duty, and the failure to supervise. We accept representation on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no cost unless we make a recovery for you, and there is never any charge for a consultation or an evaluation of your claim. For more information contact us at (877) SEC-ATTY.

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