Cambridge Investment Research Sued For Stockbroker Theft
Francesco Puccio of Pittsford New York a stockbroker formerly employed by Cambridge Investment Research Inc. is the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was resolved for $130,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that (1) Puccio placed the customer in annuities and life insurance products that were not suitable for the customer and (2) Puccio stole the customer’s funds. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 18-01507 (May 13, 2019).
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Puccio has been identified in two more customer initiated investment related disputes containing accusations of Puccio’s misconduct during the time that Puccio was associated with AXA Advisors. In particular, on September 23, 2015, a customer filed an investment related complaint concerning Puccio’s conduct where the customer requested unspecified damages supported by allegations that Puccio executed loans from the customer’s life insurance policies without the customer’s authorization. Subsequently, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim concerning Puccio’s conduct was settled for $115,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that unsuitable investment recommendations had been made by Puccio concerning the customer’s annuities and life insurance policies. FINRA Arbitration No. 16-03454 (Jan. 18, 2018).
Thereafter, Puccio was subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customers were collectively awarded $3,181,834.36 in damages based upon AXA Advisors having been found liable on the customer’s claims including breach of fiduciary duty; omissions and misrepresentations of investment related information; negligence in the handling of the customers’ investment accounts; and unsuitability with respect to the variable annuities and life insurance policies that had been sold to the customers. FINRA Arbitration No. 16-03454 (Apr. 25, 2019).
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Puccio has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity based upon findings of Puccio failing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into allegations that Puccio converted funds from an investor. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2015046238101 (Aug. 19, 2015). According to the AWC, Puccio was sent a letter from FINRA seeking information and documentation from Puccio in reference to the accusations of Puccio’s theft. Puccio supposedly failed to comply with FINRA’s requests, prompting a second request to be made by the regulator. Subsequently, Puccio’s counsel reached out to FINRA personnel indicating that Puccio was never going to hand over the information and documentation. Consequently, FINRA found Puccio’s conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
Puccio was discharged by Cambridge Investment Research based upon allegations that Puccio had stolen property. Indeed, Puccio was charged in the Wheatland Town Court of Monroe County New York with second degree grand larceny. Case No. 16-667026. Puccio was eventually convicted of the felony.