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SW Financial Rep Joseph Lianzo Sanctioned, Suspended by FINRA

SW Financial stockbroker Joseph Lianzo (CRD# 4516842) was recently sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and suspended from acting as a broker. The Melville, New York representative was found to have engaged in excessive trading in customer accounts.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2018058278601) issued in August 2021, Joseph Lianzo was registered with Laidlaw Financial and then SW Financial when, between 2016 and 2019, he engaged in quantitatively unsuitable trading in the accounts of four customers. Quantitative unsuitability is defined by FINRA as a series of excessive and unsuitable transactions effected in a customer account over which the representative has de facto control. FINRA’s findings state that Mr. Lianzo held de facto control over the four customers’ accounts, one held at Laidlaw Financial while the other three were at SW Financial. In the case of the Laidlaw customer, he allegedly executed trades that resulted in an annualized cost-to-equity ratio of 145%—meaning the account would have to grow 145 times to break even—while causing losses of $42,497 and generating commissions of $15,169. As for the SW Financial customers: in one case, Mr. Lianzo’s trading resulted in an annualized cost-to-equity ratio of 65%, $95,570 in losses, and $22,975 in commissions; in a second case, his trading resulted in an annualized cost-to-equity ratio of 78%, losses of $112,173, and commissions of $22,975; and in the third case, his trading resulted in an annualized cost-to-equity ratio of 72%, losses of $43,078, and commissions of $37,581, according to FINRA.

FINRA’s findings state further that Mr. Lianzo engaged in unauthorized trading in two of the customer’s accounts. Specifically, FINRA states that he placed seven unauthorized trades in the Laidlaw customer’s account, and later placed six unauthorized trades in the account of one of the SW Financial customers. As a result of these findings of unsuitable, excessive, and unauthorized trading, FINRA issued Mr. Lianzo an eight-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Joseph Lianzo holds 19 years of securities industry experience. He has been registered with SW Financial in Melville, New York since 2017. His prior registrations include Arive Capital Markets, Laidlaw & Company, Cape Securities, Salomon Whitney, JP Turner & Company, New Castle Financial Group, Newbridge Securities Corporation, Harrison Securities, and Milestone Financial Services. His credentials include the passage of three securities industry qualifying examinations: the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, or Series 63; the Securities Industry Essentials Examination, or SIE; and the General Securities Representative Examination, or Series 7. He presently holds eight state licenses. (Information accessed on January 6, 2021.)

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