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Larry Letterio: Regulators Probe Ex-Altair Advisor’s ETF Sales
Berwyn, Pennsylvania financial advisor Larry Letterio (CRD# 1738325) is under investigation by state regulators in connection with alleged sales of inverse exchange-traded funds. Records provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission show that he is currently an investment advisor with Kistler-Tiffany Advisors.
Mr. Letterio’s SEC Investment Adviser Public Disclosure describes the investigation into his conduct. According to the December 2022 disclosure, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking Securities issued him an order “related to the sale of certain inverse exchange-traded funds” that requires him to “show cause that sanctions should not be imposed for alleged violations of Pennsylvania Securities Act of 1972.” The disclosure contains no additional information.
The order itself, available via the Pennsylvania Department of Banking Securities, states that it concerns his conduct as a representative of Altair Management Partners, where he was registered from 1997 until December 31, 2022. The order describes allegations that as Chief Compliance Officer and sole owner of Altair Management Partners, he caused it to recommend unsuitable transactions involving “ProShares Short Russell2000” and “ProShares Short 20+ Year Treasury,” both of which are inverse exchange-traded funds. According to the order, he allegedly recommended the investments to clients, including those over the age of 60, whose investment objectives included “income” and “preservation of capital,” and for whom he “did not have a reasonable basis to recommend that the investors buy and hold shares” of the ETFs. He also allegedly “did not adequately explain to some or all of the investors the risks of investing in shares” of the products.
The Department alleges that these transactions violated state law, securities regulations, and the firm’s rules. Among other sanctions, it seeks to bar Mr. Letterio from registering as a broker or investment advisor in the state, and to order him and the firm “to pay an administrative assessment of up to $100,000.00 for each act or omission constituting a wilful violation” of state law. The action remains pending.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Larry Letterio holds 25 years of securities industry experience. Based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, he has been an investment advisor with Kistler-Tiffany Advisors since March 2023. He was previously registered with Kistler-Tiffany Advisors from December 2022 until January 2023, and with Altair Management Partners in Wexford, Pennsylvania from 1997 until December 2022. (Information current as of March 12, 2023.)
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