FINRA Suspends Madison Avenue Securities Broker for Mutual Fund Sales Practice Violations

February 11, 2021

In November 2020, the securities industry watchdog, the Financial Regulatory Industry Authority (“FINRA”) suspended, Vincent Anthony Virga, after an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) Order was accepted, (FINRA Case #2019061187801).  According to FINRA, an AWC was issued in which Virga was fined $5,000, suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for one month, and ordered to pay $19,687, plus interest, in restitution to a customer.  The suspension is in effect from December 21, 2020, through January 20, 2021.

According to the AWC, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Virga consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he recommended that a retired customer purchase $480,000 in mutual funds, but failed disclose to the customer available cost savings, including those provided through rights of accumulation, breakpoint levels and choosing to purchase mutual funds in the same fund family. The findings stated that based on Virga’s recommendations, the customer invested in mutual funds in different fund families. The customer paid $80,000 for each mutual fund investment, totaling $480,000.”

According to the FINRA AWC, financial advisors “are required to disclose to the customer available cost savings based on a right of accumulation arising from the customer’s existing mutual fund investments held at another firm, of which Virga was aware, or should have been aware. Further, Virga failed to disclose to the customer that even greater cost savings were available, including, potentially paying no sales charges whatsoever, if the customer purchased mutual funds in one or two fund families, such as the fund family in which the customer was already invested at the other firm.”

KlaymanToskes is a leading securities law firm dedicated to the protection of investor rights.  Our Investment Litigation Blog entry is designed to alert investors of broker misconduct and the failure of brokerage firms to adequately supervise the handling of investor accounts.  The purpose of this release is Blog Post is to investigate whether recommendations made by brokerage firms were in violation of  mutual fund sales breakpoint rules.  For investors with investment losses that exceed $250,000 from accounts at full-service brokerage firms, and have information relating to the manner in which the firm handled their accounts are encouraged to contact Lawrence L. Klayman, Esq., at (561) 542-5131, and download our Special Investor Report.

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