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Money Concepts Broker Christopher Passero Fined and Suspended By FINRA

Christopher Passero (CRD#: 2517681) is a registered Broker at Money Concepts Capital in Hurricane, WV.

Broker’s Background

He entered the securities industry in 1994 and previously worked for Emissary Financial Group, Inc.; and Money Concepts Capital Corp.

Current And Past Allegations Of Conduct Leading To Investment Loss

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in April 2022, FINRA sanctioned Christopher Passero, levying a fine of $10,000, and suspending him from all capacities for three months beginning May 2, 2022 and ending August 1, 2022. The FINRA sanction states, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Passero consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he shared in his customers’ losses. The findings stated that Passero made payments to customers totaling $249,560 to compensate them for losses associated with investments that he had recommended. Passero did not tell his member firm about the payments to his customers or seek authorization before he made them. In addition, Passero completed and submitted to the firm compliance questionnaires wherein he falsely stated that he did not share directly or indirectly in customers’ losses. The findings also stated that Passero loaned $10,000 to a firm customer to assist the customer in paying a tax liability. Passero did not notify the firm about the loan to his customer and also falsely stated in a compliance questionnaire that he did not loan money to customers.”

For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.

In addition, Christopher Passero has been the subject of five customer complaints, including the following:

  • August 2021 — “The customer filed a complaint on the SEC website alleging she requested a total distribution from her account but received less than the amount shown on statements. Upon review, the firm learned the bank information provided by the customer was invalid and rejected by her financial institution on at least two occasions. The return of funds to her account resulted in credit entries which the customer confused for a higher balance. The firm was able to confirm all funds were sent per the request.” The customer dispute was denied.
  • February 2021 — “Claimants are alleging the GPB offering was an unsuitable investment. They allege Violations of Federal Securities Laws and West Virginia Securities Act, Breach of Contract, Common Law Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Negligence.” The customer dispute is pending. Damages of $150,000 are requested.
  • March 2020 — “Plaintiffs are alleging negligence, gross negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, civil conspiracy, misrepresentation/non-disclosure, omission of facts and unsuitable investments. They allege their goal was to protect and grow their savings through retirements and distribute their earnings and savings on a monthly basis for Plaintiffs to live.” The customer dispute was settled for $90,000.
  • October 2014 — “CUSTOMER ALLEGES RR INVESTED ALL FUNDS IN A NON-TRADED REIT WITH NO LIQUIDITY WHICH CAUSED HIM TO SUSTAIN LOSSES IN THE AMOUNT OF $124,000.” The customer dispute was denied.
  • September 2010 — “CUSTOMER ALLEGES THE PURCHASE OF THE INLAND REIT WAS UNSUITABLE AND VIOLATES STATE STATUTES.” The customer dispute was closed with no action.

For a copy of Christopher Passero’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses

Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.

Reasonable basis suitability requires that a recommended investment or investment strategy be suitable or appropriate for at least some investors. Reasonable basis suitability requires an advisor to conduct adequate due diligence so that he or she can determine the risks and rewards of the investment or investment strategy.

Quantitative suitability requires a brokerage firm or financial advisor with actual or de facto control over a customer’s account to have a reasonable basis for believing that a series of recommended transactions – even if suitable when viewed in isolation – is not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s investment profile. No single test defines excessive activity, but factors such as the turnover rate, the cost-equity ratio, and the use of in-and-out trading in a customer’s account may provide a basis for a finding that a member or associated person has violated the quantitative suitability obligation.

Customer-specific suitability requires that a member or associated person have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on that customer’s investment profile. Among the criteria that a financial advisor must evaluate to satisfy his or her customer-specific suitability obligations include the investor’s age, tax status, time horizon, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance; a client’s other investments, financial situation and needs, investment objectives, and any other information disclosed by the customer should also be considered.

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]