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Raymond Pirrello: Former Garden State Securities Rep Suspended by FINRA

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Hackensack, New Jersey broker Raymond Pirrello (CRD# 2782019) suspended him over allegations he attempted to settle customer complaints away from his firm and used unauthorized methods to engage in business communications. A former representative of Garden State Securities, Pirrellowas suspended for 45 days and fined $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017053436101) dated November 2018, Pirrello was registered with Garden State Securities when, between 2008 and 2015, he “sent and received hundreds of text messages using his personal cell phone and emails using his personal email account” as part of firm-related business with a customer of his at Garden State Securities. FINRA’s findings state that the messages “included a written complaint” by the customer that Pirrello did not follow the customer’s instructions concerning the liquidation of a position in the account. According to FINRA’s findings, the firm’s supervisory procedures did not allow representatives to use text messages or personal email accounts to engage in business communications with their clients. Pirrello allegedly did not make any efforts to retain the communications with the customer or provide them to Garden State, and in fact “all of [them] were deleted,” according to FINRA, which states further that Pirrello “hid his use of text messages and personal email” when he falsely attested on firm compliance questionnaires that he had only used electronic communication methods that were sanctioned by the firm for customer communications.

FINRA’s findings state further that Raymond Pirrello did not properly disclose a July 11, 2011 complaint from the customer, made via email, that Pirrello had engaged in misconduct including failure to follow instructions that resulted in damages of about $300,000. In spite of FINRA rules requiring the amendment of representatives Forms U4 to disclose customer complaints within 30 days of their receipt, FINRA states, Pirrello did not disclose the customer’s complaint. The findings state further that he paid the customer in November 2011 a sum of $50,000, by check, with the aim of settling the customer’s complaints about his account; he allegedly did not inform his firm of the complaints or payment to the customer. FINRA states that he also paid another customer $388,000 between 2009 and 2015 with the aim of resolving that customer’s complaints, without informing his firm of the complaints or attempts to settle them.

FINRA found that these activities constituted violations of FINRA Rules, including Rules 1122 and 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Raymond Pirrello was suspended from association with any FINRA member firm in any capacity for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $20,000.

Raymond Pirrello is currently not registered as a broker. His employment history includes Garden State Securities in Hackensack, New Jersey, the Concord Equity Group, JP Turner & Company, Barron Chase Securities, Worthington Capital Group, and Investors Associates. He currently holds no state licenses and has passed four securities industry qualification examinations.

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