Spartan Capital Securities Broker Christopher Orlando Barred by FINRA After Allegations of Unsuitability and Churning in Customer Accounts
Christopher Orlando (CRD#: 4136262) was a previously registered Broker at Spartan Capital Securities, LLC in New York, NY. He entered the securities industry in 2002 and previously worked for St. Bernard Financial Services, Inc.; Worden Capital Management, LLC; Legend Securities, Inc.; National Securities Corporation; Joseph Gunnar & Co., LLC; Brookstone Securities, Inc.; J.P. Turner & Co., LLC; Gunnallen Financial, Inc.; and Joseph Stevens & Co., Inc.
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in June 2021, FINRA sanctioned Christopher Orlando, barring him from associating with any member firms in any capacity indefinitely, beginning on June 30, 2021. The FINRA sanction states, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Orlando consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he engaged in quantitatively unsuitable trading in customer accounts. The findings stated that Orlando recommended high frequency trading in the customer accounts, and he often recommended the sale of one security and the simultaneous investment of the sale proceeds into a new security within short time periods. Orlando’s customers routinely followed his recommendations and, as a result, Orlando exercised de facto control over the customers’ accounts. Orlando’s trading in these customers’ accounts was excessive and unsuitable given the customers’ investment profiles. As a result of Orlando’s excessive trading, the customers suffered collective realized losses of $483,680, while paying total trading costs of $581,216, including commissions of $496,872.”
For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.
In addition, Christopher Orlando has been the subject of two customer complaints, including the following:
● March 2015–”MISREPRESENTATION, SUITABILITY.” The customer dispute was denied.
● June 2013–”DURING THE PERIOD 06/15/2011 THROUGH12/15/2011,COMPLAINT RECEIVED AS [CUSTOMER] COMPLAINED OF VERBAL ABUSE AND INTIMIDATION. FELT HARASSED WHICH RESULTED IN MAKING POOR INVESTMENT DECISIONS RESULTING IN EXHORBITANT COMMISSIONS AND FEES.” The customer dispute was closed without action.
For a copy of Christopher Orlando’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.
Excessive trading often occurs when a Financial Advisor puts his or her interests ahead of the clients and makes transactions solely for the purpose of generating commissions. Financial Advisors have a regulatory duty to recommend suitable investment strategies. One of the components of the suitability analysis is quantitative suitability.
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. 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.
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