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Joe Yanofsky: Greenwood Village, Colorado Financial Advisor Suspended

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against Greenwood Village, Colorado broker and investment advisor Joe Yanofsky (CRD# 870054) suspended him over allegations he improperly exercised discretionary authority in customer accounts. A representative of First Financial Equity Corporation, Yanofsky was suspended for 20 days and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2015045664601) dated September 2017, Joe Yanofsky was registered with Merrill Lynch when, between May 2012 and May 2015, he exercised discretion in the accounts of nine customers who had provided verbal authorization to participate in syndicate offerings made available by MLCO—offerings, FINRA notes, that sometimes “launched and concluded within a very short time period.” However, according to the findings, the customers in question did not have discretionary accounts and never provided written authorization to participate in the MLCO offerings. FINRA states that on some occasions, Yanofsky “purchased syndicate offering shares for these customers without having received the customer’s specific authorization” to do so. He allegedly participated in the offerings without obtaining verbal authorization after the offering commenced “in many cases.” FINRA found these activities to constitute violations of FINRA Rules 2510 and 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, he was suspended from associating with any FINRA member firm in all capacities for 20 days. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.

Joe Yanofsky’s disclosure records also list five customer complaints against him that reached settlements or awards.

A 2015 complaint alleged that as a representative of Merrill Lynch, he made unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresented material facts related to mutual fund investments. The complaint reached a settlement of $75,000.

A 2015 complaint alleged that as a representative of Merrill Lynch, he failed to follow instructions and executed unauthorized trades. The complaint reached a settlement of $35,000.

A 2017 complaint alleged that as a representative of Merrill Lynch, he executed unauthorized trades, made excessive transactions, failed to follow instructions, and recommended unsuitable investments.  In 2019 the complaint reached a settlement of $500,000.

Joe Yanofsky has been registered as a broker and investment advisor with First Financial Equity Corporation in Greenwood Village, Colorado since 2005. His employment history includes Merrill Lynch in Greenwood Village, Colorado; Hanifen Imhoff Securities Corporation; Hanifen Imhoff; Painewebber; EF Hutton & Company; and Merrill Lynch. He currently holds three state licenses and has passed eight securities industry qualification examinations.

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