Michael John Giovannelli (also known as Michael Anthony Giovannelli) of Garden City New York a stockbroker formerly registered with Spartan Capital Securities is the subject of a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) investigation in which the regulator made an initial determination to recommend that Giovannelli be sanctioned for engaging in unauthorized trading and for providing false testimony, ortherwise known as lying, to the regulator. Case No. 20190619411 (Jan. 5, 2021).
According to FINRA Public Disclosure, Giovannelli may face disciplinary action for potentially making discretionary trades in customer accounts without getting written permission to exercise discretion from both Spartan Capital Securities customers and the securities broker dealer. FINRA indicated that Giovannelli might have violated FINRA Rule 2010 and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Rule 2510.
The stockbroker also faces possible disciplinary action for potentially effecting unauthorized trades in violation of FINRA Rule 2010. Spartan Capital Securities discharged Giovannelli on July 31, 2020 founded on allegations of his unauthorized trading.
FINRA also relayed that Giovannelli may have violated Rules 2010 and 8210 by potentially handing over false documents and information when responding to the regulator’s investigative requests. He potentially provided false testimony to the regulator as well.
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Giovannelli has been identified in three customer initiated investment related disputes concerning accusations of his misconduct while employed by Woodstock Financial Group and SW Financial. On July 6, 2015, a customer filed an investment related complaint regarding Giovannelli’s conduct where the customer requested $55,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that Giovannelli made misrepresentations regarding an over-the-counter equity purchase on margin. According to the claim, the customer was led to believe that there was a guaranteed return on the investment that they made through Giovannelli at Woodstock Financial Group.
On November 2, 2017, another customer initiated investment related complaint involving Giovannelli’s conduct was settled for $5,000.00 in damages supported by accusations that the customer’s account was churned by the stockbroker and that unauthorized trades were made by him during the time that he was associated with SW Financial.
Giovannelli is named in a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim in which the customer was awarded $97,292.27 in compensatory damages and $12,500.00 in punitive damages founded on Giovannelli being found liable on the customer’s causes of action including breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty relating to investments in Barclays iPath SP500 (VIX) and Square Inc. FINRA Arbitration No. 20-00470 (Aug. 27, 2020). The claim alleges that the customer’s account had been churned and excessively traded by the stockbroker. Transactions were allegedly unsuitable for the customer and resulted in an overconcentration in their account. Allegations include violation of California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act.
Giovannelli was registered with SW Financial between August 25, 2015 and May 3, 2017. He was registered with Richard James Associates Inc. between May 1, 2017 and April 26, 2019 and registered with Spartan Capital Securities between July 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020.