FINRA brokercheck

Michael Joseph Muratore of New York, New York, a stockbroker registered with Benchmark Investments Inc., has been barred by the Maryland Securities Division following the failure to respond to an Order to Show Cause. Case No. 202100173 (May 17, 2022).

This is not the first time that Muratore has been the subject of a regulatory action concerning his conduct in the securities industry. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Public Disclosure shows that Muratore has been fined $25,000.00 and suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for two years based upon allegations that Muratore forged a customer’s signature. Case No. 2019063662701 (Mar. 18, 2022).

According to the AWC, from January 2019 through March 2019, during the time that he was associated with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Muratore forged the initials and signature of  J.P. Morgan customer on 18 documents regarding the surrender of three annuities and the purchase of a new variable annuity. In February 2019, Muratore also falsified an investment switch form in connection with a customer’s securities account by changing the date on the form. Muratore’s falsifications and forgeries caused J.P. Morgan’s records and books to be inaccurate.

Additionally, from June 2018 through April 2019, Muratore circumvented J.P. Morgan’s rules by failing to disclose that he had been appointed beneficiary of a J.P. Morgan customer’s Transfer on Death account. Muratore took steps to conceal his beneficiary status from J.P. Morgan.

Lastly, in July 2020, Muratore impersonated a customer in three phone conversations that Muratore had with an insurance company regarding an annuity that the customer owned during the time that Muratore was associated with LPL Financial LLC. Muratore violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 4511.

On April 14, 2022, Muratore was suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity based upon allegations that Muratore failed to comply with an arbitration award or settlement agreement or otherwise confirm compliance with FINRA. Case No. 21-02445.

FINRA Public Disclosure also shows that Muratore is also referenced in a complaint that was settled on May 29, 2020 for $12,581.57 in damages based upon allegations that Muratore committed sales practice violations concerning the recommendation and sale of variable annuities mutual funds and managed account when Muratore was associated with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.

LPL Financial LLC and Financial Resources Group Investment Services LLC discharged Muratore based upon allegations that Muratore impersonated a customer. Muratore was associated with Benchmark Investments LLC from March 31, 2021 to April 14, 2022. He was permitted to resign based upon allegations of forgery.