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Todd Cirella: FINRA Sanctions Laidlaw Advisor over Trading Allegations

Melville, New York financial advisor Todd Cirella (CRD# 2396336) allegedly recommended excessive and unsuitable trades in a senior customer’s account, according to a recent regulatory sanction. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records indicate that he is a broker with Laidlaw & Company.

Mr. Cirella’s BrokerCheck report discloses the January 2023 FINRA enforcement action against him. According to FINRA’s findings, he violated the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest “by recommending a series of trading in a senior customer’s account that was excessive, unsuitable, and not in the customer’s best interest.” The customer in question relied on his advice and regularly followed his regulations, according to FINRA, and as such he held de facto control over the customer’s account. The trades in question resulted in $12,000 in losses, $27,566 in commissions, “an annualized cost-to-equity ratio of 37.65 percent, and an annualized turnover rate of 20.39.” As FINRA notes, this high ratio indicated that the account in question “would have to grow by more than 37 percent annually just to break even, making it very difficult for the customer to realize a profit.” In connection with this alleged conduct, FINRA issued Mr. Cirella a fine of $5,000, ordered him to pay restitution of $27,566, and suspended him for three months.

Two other disclosures on Mr. Cirella’s BrokerCheck report describe investor complaints against him. The most recent, filed in 2009, alleged that as a representative of Laidlaw & Company, he churned investments, breached contract, executed unauthorized trades, recommended unsuitable investments, made misrepresentations of material facts, committed fraud, and breached his fiduciary duty. In 2010 the complaint reached a settlement of $80,000.

A second investor complaint, filed in 2009, alleged that he executed unauthorized trades and charged excessive commissions while at Laidlaw & Company. In 2010 the complaint reached a settlement of $60,000.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Todd Cirella holds 29 years of securities industry experience. Based in Melville, New York, he has been a broker with Laidlaw & Company since 2004. He was previously registered with Sands Brothers & Company in New York, New York from 1993 until 2004. His credentials include the passage of three securities industry qualifying exams: the General Securities Representative Examination, or Series 7; the Securities Industry Essentials Examination, or SIE; and the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, or Series 63. He currently holds 42 state licenses. (Information current as of February 5, 2023.)

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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