Stephen Paul Florio (also known as Flo Florio and as Florio Paul Stephen) of Fort Lauderdale Florida a stockbroker formerly employed by Raymond James Associates Inc. has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity supported by findings that Florio effected trades in a Raymond James customer’s account on a discretionary basis without written authorization. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018059717201 (Aug. 20, 2020).
According to the AWC, between January 5, 2016 and July 10, 2018, discretionary power was exercised by Florio in the Raymond James customer’s account without Florio having any written permission from the customer. The regulator indicated that Florio was also not permitted to exercise discretion as the customer’s account was not approved by the securities broker dealer for that purpose.
Florio also failed to be honest with Raymond James regarding his exercise of discretion. The stockbroker was provided with annual compliance questionnaires from Raymond James which prompted him to disclose whether he exercised discretion in customer accounts. Florio concealed his actions, answering the securities broker dealer’s discretionary trading question in the negative. FINRA found that Florio’s actions were violative of FINRA Rule 2010 and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Rule 2510(b).
FINRA Public Disclosure additionally reveals that a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim regarding Florio’s activities was settled for $10,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that misrepresentations and omissions were made to the customer regarding common or preferred stock transactions when Florio was associated with Barnett Securities. The claim alleges that the customer was defrauded.
Florio had been discharged by Raymond James on August 12, 2018 based upon allegations of his unapproved outside business activity. The securities broker dealer also indicated that he engaged in suspicious low-priced securities transactions. Since October 10, 2018, Florio has been registered with Cambridge Investment Research Inc. as a stockbroker and investment adviser representative.