Anthony Diaz of Scotrun, PA, formerly a financial planner with IBN Financial Services, was permanently barred from association with any FINRA registered firms after consenting to FINRA allegations that Diaz engaged in unsuitable variable annuity exchanges, deceptively used falsified financial information and dates, committed fraud in connection with alternative investments, falsified books and records, engaged in unauthorized trading, and made false statements to customers regarding firings from firms. Department of Enforcement v. Anthony Diaz, No. 2011030254902 (May 27, 2015).
FINRA’s Findings on Diaz
According to the Order Accepting Offer of Settlement, FINRA found that from March of 2010 through May of 2011, Diaz had encouraged roughly 80 customers to engage in variable annuity exchanges, where such exchanges often caused his clients to face penalties referred to as surrender charges. The Order stated that Diaz had no legitimate basis to recommend the exchanges, considering that he did not understand how the features worked on the new annuity products. Rather, Diaz reportedly would set up nearly all of his clients to invest in the same funds, with the same riders (additional add-on insurance protection), and based on justifications that FINRA considered invalid. FINRA deemed Diaz’s conduct to violate FINRA Rules 2010, 2330 and NASD Rules 3110 and 2310.
The Order further indicates that Diaz had engaged in misconduct through the sale of real estate investment trusts and other direct participation partnerships from 2007-2010. During this period, according to the Order, he stated to his customers false information regarding the guarantees associated with these products (he referred to guarantees associated with the principal investment or with minimum interest to be earned). FINRA found this conduct to be in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5, FINRA Rules 2020 and 2010, and NASD Rules 2120 and 2110.
According to the Order, from March of 2007 through April of 2011, FINRA alleged Diaz to have falsified the financial status (such as net worth) of at least 9 customers in order to make it seem that such customers were eligible to invest in the aforementioned annuity products when the customers’ were not eligible. Further, Diaz altered customer signatures on profile forms and account transfer authorizations, violating FINRA Rule 2010 and NASD Rules 2110 and 3110.
According to the Order, Diaz also made unauthorized trades in seven of his customers’ accounts from 2009-2011. The Order indicates that Diaz also lied to customers on several occasions about the basis of his departure with several of the eleven firms that Diaz worked at through his career. In so doing, according to the Order, Diaz gave customers the impression that he had left his past employers voluntarily when he actually had been discharged via termination for complaints concerning his unauthorized trading, supervisory problems, and substantial customer complaints.
FINRA Public Disclosure Records
According to public disclosure records via FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Diaz has been subject to a record number of disclosures, 45 in total. He has resolved a number of customer disputes regarding unsuitable recommendations, omissions of material facts, negligence, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, etc. A number of customers have filed disputes that are pending, claiming Diaz misrepresented guaranteed payments of interest, violated suitability requirements by recommending illiquid products, falsified liquid and net worth information, inflated income, and forged account information.
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, Esq., 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.