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Cantella & Co. Financial Advisor William Fochi, Jr. Fined and Suspended by FINRA After Allegations of Selling Away

WIlliam Fochi, Jr. (CRD#: 1773450) is a dually registered Broker and Investment Advisor at Cantella & Co., Inc. in Glastonbury, CT. He entered the securities industry in 1998 and previously worked for Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC; and Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc.

 

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in October 2021, FINRA sanctioned William Fochi, Jr., imposing a civil and administrative penalty/fine of $10,000, and suspending him from all capacities for four months, beginning November 1, 2020 and ending February 28, 2022. The FINRA sanction states, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Fochi consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he engaged in an outside business activity without disclosing or providing prior written notice to his member firm. The findings stated that this matter originated from a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) filed by the firm that stated Fochi had been permitted to resign following the firm’s discovery that he violated firm policy by soliciting and facilitating sales of a product not approved by the firm. The findings also stated that Fochi sold equity indexed annuities (EIAs) despite the firm’s written supervisory procedures (WSPs) explicitly prohibiting its personnel from soliciting, recommending, selling, or promoting unregistered EIAs. The value of the EIAs Fochi sold was approximately $3.9 million. Fochi’s activities were not detected by the firm because his wife, who was an independent insurance agent, was listed as the selling agent. Fochi’s wife was listed as the agent on the EIA applications even though certain customers only worked with Fochi in purchasing their EIAs. Fochi received approximately $3,000 personally in commissions and shared in the $350,000 to $400,000 in commissions earned in his wife’s name for EIA sales he made. In addition, Fochi made inaccurate statements to the firm regarding his participation in outside business activities and sales of EIAs on multiple annual firm compliance questionnaires.”

 

For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.

 

In addition, William Fochi, Jr. has been the subject of one customer complaint, including the following:

 

  • December 2020–”Customer alleges that the representative engaged in fraudulent and misleading conduct by making unsuitable recommendations that the customer purchase $2.5 million in annuity contracts within a two month period (October – December 2019), consisting of two Northwestern Mutual variable annuity contracts and two outside carrier annuity contracts.” The customer dispute was closed with no action.
  • February 2020–”The representative was permitted to resign following the Firm’s discovery that he violated Firm policy by soliciting and facilitating sales of a product not approved by the Firm.” William Fochi, Jr. was permitted to resign from Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC.
  • September 2012–”REPRESENTATIVE ENTERED A CONSENT ORDER ADMITTING THAT HE MISREPRESENTED INFORMATION ON AN ANNUITY WITHDRAWAL FORM.” William Fochi, Jr. was fined $3,000 by the State of Connecticut Insurance Department.

 

For a copy of William Fochi, Jr.’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

 

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.

 

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.

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