Michael John Giovannelli (also known as Michael Anthony Giovannelli), of Garden City, New York, a stockbroker formerly registered with Spartan Capital Securities, has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity according to a Default Decision containing findings that Giovannelli engaged in unauthorized trading and had falsified documents and testimony when under investigation for trading at Spartan Capital Securities. Department of Enforcement v. Michael J. Giovannelli, Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2019061941101 (November 19, 2021).
According to the Decision, Giovannelli made unauthorized trades in a Spartan Capital Securities customer’s account, resulting in losses. He also provided false documents to FINRA when investigated about it. Giovannelli was asked to provide FINRA with information about telephone calls he made between January of 2020 to July 2020. A response provided by Giovannelli contained false cellphone records to make it seem that he spoke with a customer on five occasions regarding trades in their account. The regulator determined that Giovannelli violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
The regulator also states that Giovannelli falsified testimony on December 21, 2020. He told FINRA that he contacted the customer for authorization for twelve trades he made between February 4, 2020, and April 27, 2020. FINRA states that Giovannelli did not speak with the customer as he represented while under investigation. Giovannelli violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
The Decision also states that between September of 2018 and March of 2019, 100 trades were made by Giovannelli in four Richard James customer accounts. Giovannelli was not provided with written authorization to warrant his discretionary trading. He violated FINRA Rules 2010 and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Rule 2510(b).
Giovannelli has been identified in three customer initiated investment related disputes containing accusations of his wrongdoing while he was employed by Salomon Whitney Financial (SW Financial) and Woodstock Financial Group. FINRA Public Disclosure shows that a customer filed an investment related complaint concerning Giovannelli’s activities where they requested $55,000.00 in damages based upon allegations of being misled regarding a stock purchase at Woodstock Financial Group because of the stockbroker. The customer was led to believe there was a guaranteed return on their investment.
On November 2, 2017, a different customer initiated investment related written complaint regarding Giovannelli’s activities was settled for $5,000.00 founded upon accusations of churning and unauthorized trading of stock in the customer’s account during the time that Giovannelli was associated with SW Financial.
Giovannelli is also referenced in a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim in which the customer was awarded $97,292.27 in damages and $12,500.00 in punitive damages based on Giovannelli being found liable on the SW Financial customer’s claims, including churning and fraud regarding investments in Barclays iPath S&P500 VIX and Square Inc. FINRA Arbitration No. 20-00470 (January 11, 2021).
Giovannelli was discharged by Spartan Capital Securities on July 31, 2020, based upon allegations that he engaged in unauthorized trading.