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$3.2 Million Complaint Filed Against Former LPL Financial Advisor Michael Barranco

Michael Barranco (CRD#: 4825738) is a registered Investment Advisor and previously registered Broker.

Broker’s Background

He entered the securities industry in 2004 and previously worked for LPL Financial, Inc.; and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.

Current And Past Allegations Of Conduct Leading To Investment Loss

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in October 2021, a customer dispute was filed against Michael Barranco. The allegation states, “Claimants allege selling away, unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duties, fraud and/or negligence in connection with their investment in real estate. Activity period April 2013 to June 2017.” The customer dispute is pending and damages of $3.2M are requested.

In addition, Michael Barranco has been the subject of two disclosures, including the following:

  • August 2016 — “Without admitting or denying the findings, Barranco consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that while registered with a member firm, he participated in private securities transactions with three different issuers without providing proper notice to his firm. The findings stated that all of these investments were made outside the firm and Barranco did not provide appropriate prior notice to his firm regarding his participation in these securities transactions.” Michael Barranco was fined $20,000 and suspended from any capacity for two years, beginning August 1, 2016 and ending July 31, 2018. For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.
  • November 2015 — “Solicited clients to invest in private securities transactions, in violation of Firm policy.” Michael Barranco was discharged by LPL Financial, LLC.

For a copy of Michael Barranco’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) strictly prohibits financial advisors from “selling away” or selling securities and investments to clients that are not offered by the brokerage firm with which they are employed. For example, it is illegal and a violation of industry rules for a financial advisor to recommend or even suggest that a client invest in the financial advisor’s own business or a business operated by his or her friends or family. It is not necessary that the financial advisor earn any compensation for recommending an outside investment.

FINRA Rule 3280 provides: “No person associated with a member shall participate in any manner in a private securities transaction except in accordance with the requirements of this Rule. Prior to participating in any private securities transaction, an associated person shall provide written notice to the member with which he is associated describing in detail the proposed transaction and the person’s proposed role therein and stating whether he has received or may receive selling compensation in connection with the transaction; provided however that, in the case of a series of related transactions in which no selling compensation has been or will be received, an associated person may provide a single written notice.”

The purpose behind this prohibition is to ensure that a financial advisor only offers to sell securities that have been vetted by his or her employer brokerage firm through a rigorous due diligence process. Most brokerage firms have an approved list of investments, products, and research that can be provided or made available to clients. Any deviation by the financial advisor from the approved product list may constitute selling away.

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis.  Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at (800) 931-8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

Attorney Matthew Wolper

Attorney Matthew WolperMatt Wolper is a trial lawyer who focuses exclusively on securities litigation and arbitration. Mr. Wolper has handled hundreds of securities matters nationwide before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), JAMS, and in state and federal court. Mr. Wolper has handled and tried cases involving complex financial products and strategies ranging from traditional stocks and bonds to options, margin and other securities-based lending products, closed/open-end mutual funds, structured products, hedge funds, and penny stocks. [Attorney Bio]