New Jersey Catches Allstate Stockbroker Stealing $2 Million From Dead
Robert Gerard Merlo (also known as Robert Gerald Merlo) of Midland Park New Jersey a stockbroker formerly associated with Allstate Financial Services has been barred as a stockbroker in the State of New Jersey according to an Order issued by New Jersey Bureau of Securities that was based on Merlo pleading guilty to fraudulent activities. In the Matter of Robert G. Merlo Summary Bar Order (Mar. 5, 2020).
According to the Order, Merlo was the subject of a grand jury indictment in which he was charged with wire fraud among other crimes based upon accusations that from 2016 to 2017, Merlo and others concocted a scheme to steal a deceased individual’s $2,000,000.00 in assets.
The Order stated that stolen stock certificates were placed by Merlo into an account set up at Allstate Financial Services in the decedent’s name in 2016. Merlo allegedly caused stock certificates to be liquidated which produced more than $2,000,000.00 in cash. The stockbroker also attempted purchases of gold coins with the individual’s assets. Merlo was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and identify theft. He was sentenced to 42 months behind bars.
This is not the first time that Merlo has been sanctioned by a regulator. He has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity founded on accusations that he failed to provide the regulator with information that was requested of him. Case No. 2017053574002 (Jan. 15, 2019).
FINRA Public Disclosure indicates that an investigation was launched by FINRA in 2018 which led to requests for Merlo’s information. Merlo’s lack of a response resulted in FINRA issuing him a Notice of Suspension letter on October 12, 2018 and a Suspension from Association letter on November 5, 2019. He was provided three months from the Notice of Suspension to seek that the suspension be lifted. Merlo failed to correspond with the regulator by the deadline imposed.
On March 7, 2018, Merlo was discharged by Allstate Financial Services based upon its receipt of a grand jury indictment that had alleged Merlo’s theft and fraudulent activities.