Newbridge Stockbroker Barred By SEC For Fraud
Gerald John Cocuzzo (also known as Gerry Cocuzzo and as Jerry Cocuzzo) of Boca Raton Florida a stockbroker formerly employed by Newbridge Securities Corporation has been barred from being a stockbroker or investment advisor representative or otherwise associating with securities broker dealers or investment advisories according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Order containing findings of Cocuzzo committing fraud. In the Matter of Gerald Cocuzzo Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-18186 (Sept. 18, 2017).
On August 16, 2017, a judgement had been entered against Cocuzzo in a SEC civil action which enjoined him from engaging in conduct violative of Securities Act of 1933 Section 17(a), Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Section 10(b) and SEC Rule 10b-5. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Richard St. Julien et al. Civil Action No. 1:16-cv-02193. SEC’s Complaint preceding this judgment contained allegations of Cocuzzo receiving illegal kickbacks for advising customers to purchase Forcefield Energy Inc. stock; and for inducing customers’ purchases of the Forcefield stock while omitting mention of the kickbacks. Cocuzzo allegedly used advanced electronic communication channels to obscure his contact with others who engaged in the scheme.
SEC also noted that Cocuzzo pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud. United States v. Jared Mitchell et al. Crim. Indictment. No. 1:16-CR-00234 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 12, 2016). The Indictment alleged that Cocuzzo engaged in a fraudulent kickback scheme involving Forcefield Energy where he failed to disclose the kickbacks to customers who purchased the stock positions. SEC found there to be sufficient circumstances in Cocuzzo’s case to justify barring the stockbroker from the securities industry.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Public Disclosure confirms that Cocuzzo is referenced in nine customer initiated investment related disputes containing accusations of his violative conduct during the time that he was employed by securities broker dealers including Newbridge Securities Corporation, GunnAllen Financial Inc., IAA Financial LLC, J.P. Turner Company LLC, LH Ross and Co. Inc. and Seaboard Securities Inc. Specifically, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim involving Cocuzzo’s activities where the customer sought $600,000.00 in damages founded on allegations that when Cocuzzo was associated with IAA Financial, the customer had been placed into options and equities that failed to be suitable given the customer’s objectives for investing, risk tolerance or other investment related circumstances.
Cocuzzo is the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was resolved for $18,000.00 in damages based upon accusations that stock trades placed in the customer’s account were unsuitable for the customer when Cocuzzo was associated with IAA Financial LLC and GunnAllen Financial Inc. Another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim concerning Cocuzzo’s activities was resolved for $27,500.00 in damages supported by allegations of California securities laws being violated; breach of fiduciary duty; violation of contract; over-concentration of the customer’s assets in stocks; and a fraudulent scheme which generated unwarranted losses. FINRA Arbitration No. 16-01684 (June 28, 2017).
On December 12, 2017, another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in regard to Cocuzzo’s conduct was settled for $24,999.00 in damages founded on accusations that when Cocuzzo was employed by Newbridge Securities Corporation, the customer’s funds had been placed into a fraudulent private placement offering which caused the customer’s funds to be fully diminished.