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Melissa Alverio: Pennsylvania Vanguard Broker Barred by FINRA

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Malvern, Pennsylvania broker Melissa Alverio (CRD# 5844392) barred her over allegations she improperly used customer and firm funds. A former representative of Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Alveriowas barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with a broker-dealer firm.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017055910201) dated November 2018, Melissa Alverio was associated with Vanguard Marketing Corporation when, in December 2016, a customer of the firm initiated a $500,000 transfer from an outside account to their firm account. At the time, one of Alverio’s responsibilities was to help facilitate transfers that were not processed through the firm’s Automated Customer Account Transfer (“ACAT”) Services System. The transfer in question was non-ACAT, and FINRA’s findings state that the customer’s representative was depending on Alverio to facilitate the transfer; however, according to FINRA, she “forgot about the transaction.” When the customer’s representative contacted her about it in February 2017, Alverio did not acknowledge she forgot it, but instead informed the representative “that the transfer would be processed that day.” FINRA states that she then transferred a sum of $500,000 from the firm’s clearance account to the customer’s account—instead of transferring funds between the customer’s accounts—and between that point and April 2017, “engaged in a series of nine additional transactions moving funds from the accounts of five customers and the Firm in a failed attempt to conceal the $500,000 she took from the Firm clearance account.”

FINRA’s findings go on to state that Alverio’s ten improper transactions during the period in question, with the goal of concealing her improper transfer from the clearance account and without the knowledge or authorization of the customers whose accounts were affected, were in violation of FINRA Rule 2150(a). That rule states that it is improper to use customer funds for purposes other than the customers directed, or to fail to apply funds as directed by the customer. FINRA also states that her entry of false information into firm systems (to facilitate the allegedly improper transfers) and subsequent false representations to the firm that the “mistake was an error by another firm” constituted a violation of FINRA Rule 2010. That rule concerns standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Melissa Alverio was barred from associating with any FINRA member firm in any and all capacities.

Melissa Alverio is not currently registered as a broker or investment advisor. Her employment history includes Vanguard Marketing Corporation in Malvern, Pennsylvania. She currently holds no state licenses and has passed three securities industry qualification examinations.

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