Geraldine Joyce Polvino, of Nicholasville, Kentucky, a stockbroker associated with Edward Jones, was the subject of a customer initiated investment related complaint that was settled on December 5, 2022, for $40,000.00 in damages. The claim was based upon allegations that Polvino did not properly inform the customer about potential tax implications related to transferring funds to her Edward Jones account. The customer further alleged that Polvino’s recommendation to liquidate Ameritrade assets and purchase new assets in the Edward Jones account was not in her best interests. Allegedly, Polvino and Edward Jones failed to follow instructions to minimize tax implications.
Ms. Polvino did not contribute to this settlement.
Generally, a stockbroker, unless there is an affirmative undertaking, has no duty to provide tax advice. However, conceivably, the tax implications associated with a recommendation could be considered a material part of the recommendation based upon all the circumstances or “any other information the customer may disclose to the member or associated person in connection with such recommendation,” as contemplated by FINRA Rule 2111.
FINRA Public Disclosure shows that Polvino was also referenced in a customer initiated investment related complaint filed on November 20, 2009, in which the customer requested $8,461.00 in damages. The customer claimed that Polvino provided incorrect information about how to calculate the cost basis for selling stocks, which resulted in the customer incurring capital gains tax.
Again, either the customer had a capital gain or the customer did not. It is not a stockbroker’s duty to calculate the cost basis for selling stocks as apparently alleged, unless the customer could show that this misinformation was somehow a material part of the investment decision to sell these securities.
In any event, this claim was ultimately denied on January 26, 2010.
Polvino was associated with Edward Jones in Nicholasville, Kentucky, from August 17, 2001, to June 1, 2023, or for more than twenty years.