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John Orlando: FINRA Alleges Churning by SW Financial Rep

Melbourne Beach, Florida broker John Orlando (CRD# 2002197) was recently named in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority complaint alleging he churned and excessively traded in a customer account. FINRA records show that the SW Financial representative has a pending investor complaint seeking $1.2 million and damages, as well as a complaint that concluded with an award of $1.05 million to the claimant.

Mr. Orlando’s BrokerCheck report reflects that he was named as a respondent in a FINRA complaint in March 2022. The complaint alleges that he excessively traded and churned in a customer’s account between September 2016 and July 2019, while he was a representative of Westpark Capital. According to the allegations, he made numerous recommendations to the customer that they “make large e share purchases of initial public offerings (IPOs) and secondary offerings of companies that Westpark was offering as a member of the selling group.” He then recommended “within days—and sometimes on the same day” of those purchases that the customer liquidate their positions in the offerings, “frequently realizing immediate losses.” He allegedly used proceeds from previous sales to repeat the strategy, funding purchases in other IPOs or secondary offerings, deciding on his own which to purchase or sell, in what quantity, and at what time.

FINRA alleges that Mr. Orlando solicited the customer to participate “in more than 100 offerings,” executing more than 1,000 trades that led to “more than $650,000 in commissions and concessions for himself and Westpark and more than $770,000 in additional costs” paid to the offerings’ underwriters. The customer, meanwhile, sustained about $1 million in realized losses and $245,000 in unrealized losses. According to FINRA, Mr. Orlando had no reasonable basis to believe either the transactions or the strategy were suitable for the customer. FINRA argues that he violated FINRA and SEC rules, including FINRA Rules 2111, 2020, and 2010. The regulator is seeking the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, as well as findings that he committed the alleged violations. The complaint is still pending.

Mr. Orlando’s BrokerCheck report lists several investor complaints. A complaint filed in 2020, for instance, alleged that as a representative of Newport Coast Securities and Westpark Capital, he churned the account and made unsuitable recommendations. This complaint evolved into a FINRA arbitration proceeding in which a FINRA panel issued an award of $1,050,000 to the customer. Another complaint filed in 2020 alleged that as a representative of Westpark Capital, he breached his fiduciary duty and acted negligently with regard to investments in Horizon Fund; this complaint reached a settlement of $30,000. A third complaint filed in 2020 alleged that as a representative of SA Stone Wealth Management, he made an unsuitable recommendation, reaching a settlement of $9,500.

A more recent complaint listed on Mr. Orlando’s BrokerCheck report was filed in 2021, alleging the over-concentration of unsuitable private placements and the provision of misleading offering materials. This pending complaint alleges $1,200,000 in damages.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, John Orlando holds 31 years of securities industry experience. He has been a representative of SW Financial in Melbourne Beach, Florida since 2019. His past registrations include Joseph Gunnar & Company (Uniondale, New York; 2019), Westpark Capital (Fort Lauderdale, Florida; 2016-2019), Newport Coast Securities (Fort Lauderdale, Florida; 2015-2016), Sterne Agee Financial Services (Fort Lauderdale, Florida; 2009-2015), and Emmett A. Larkin & Company (Fort Lauderdale, Florida; 2005-2009). He holds 40 state licenses. (Information current as of April 4, 2022.)

Carlson Law represents investors throughout the United States in claims against financial advisors and investment firms. If you or a loved one have suffered investment losses, please call us at 888-976-6111 or complete our contact form for a free and confidential consultation.

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