Robert Juan Escobio of Miami Florida a former Chief Executive Officer of Southern Trust Securities Inc. has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity according to a FINRA National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) Decision containing findings that Escobio failed to cooperate with FINRA during the period that he was under investigation for potentially associating with Southern Trust Securities when disqualified from doing so. In the matter of Department of Enforcement v. Robert Juan Escobio Complaint No. 2018059545201 (Mar. 10, 2021).
Prior to NAC’s Decision, Escobio was the subject of a FINRA Hearing Panel Decision which barred him for failing to comply with FINRA’s investigative requests in violation of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210. The Hearing Panel found that Escobio neglected to provide recorded testimony for FINRA personnel in response to accusations of his unauthorized association with Southern Trust Securities.
Prior to the Panel’s Decision, Escobio was the subject of a final judgement issued by United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in favor of Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The Court commanded him to stop engaging in activities that required him to be registered under Commodity Exchange Act. He was also ordered to provide $2,103,617.00 in restitution to customers who CFTC alleged to have been defrauded. The Commission contended that Escobio defrauded at least 135 customers who invested in precious metals transactions.
The Hearing Panel indicated that Escobio was disallowed from associating with Southern Trust Securities given allegations of his fraudulent activities among other things. The Panel also determined that he neglected on five occasions to respond to FINRA’s requests for documents and information. Escobio appealed the Decision, claiming that he was not obligated to provide any response to FINRA’s requests. NAC rejected his argument, affirming the Hearing Panel’s Decision.
Escobio has been referenced in five customer initiated investment related disputes concerning accusations of his bad sales practices while registered with securities broker dealers. FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that a customer initiated investment related complaint concerning Escobio’s conduct was settled for $30,000.00 in damages based upon allegations of unauthorized and unsuitable trading in the customer’s account during the time that Escobio was associated with Capital Investment Services. The complaint also alleges that the customer’s account was churned by the stockbroker.
Escobio was registered with Southern Trust Securities between June 22, 2000 and July 28, 2017.