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The State of Colorado Has Commenced An Enforcement Action Against Centaurus Financial And Its Brokers Ricky “Rick” Mantei And Cindy Chiellini

The Wolper Law Firm has pending arbitration claims against JP Turner and Centaurus Financial, arising out of sales practices involving Ricky Mantei ak/a Rick Mantei and several Financial Advisors that are part of his team or at his branch office, including Cindy Chiellini a/k/a Cindy Lucille Porto Chiellini and Atul Makharia.  The pending claims involve the sale of structured certificates of deposit (i.e., structured CDs), steepener notes, leveraged structured notes and non-traded real estate investment trusts (Non-Traded REITs).

Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei (CRD # 1098981) was a former Financial Advisor at JP Turner & Co and is currently a Financial Advisor at Centaurus Financial, Inc. in Lexington, South Carolina.  Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei is also a branch manager at Centaurus Financial.    Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei has been in the securities industry since 1983 and previously worked at Gunallen Financial, Inc. and First Allied Securities.  Cindy Chiellini has been in the securities industry since the 1980s and previously worked at JP Turner & Co. and Gunallen Financial.  Thus, Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei and Cindy Chiellini have worked together for many years at various brokerage firms.

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on September 25, 2019, the State of Colorado commenced an enforcement action against Centaurus, Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei and Cindy Chiellini, alleging “potential violations of §§ 11-51-410 (1)(g)(i), and Commissioner Rules 51-4.7(B), (G)(2); and FINRA Rules 3110(a)(1), (a)(6) and (b)(1).”  According to the Colorado notice of charges against Centaurus Financial, Ms. Chiellini and Mr. Mantei, the Colorado securities commission started its examination earlier this year due to an unusual number of documented complaints against Ms. Chiellini.   The allegations relate, in part, to the failure to supervise.

This is the second regulatory action to be filed against Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei in the last few months. On August 1, 2019, FINRA Department of Enforcement filed an enforcement proceeding againsty Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei, alleging that he “circumvented the supervisory system of J.P. Turner & Co. (JPT) on three occasions over the course of a five-month period” involving the sale of structured certificates of deposit to clients.  FINRA further alleges that Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei “violated FINRA Rule 2010 and willfully violated MSRB Rule G-17.”

FINRA further alleges that Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei violated industry rules and firm policy when entering cross-trades of structured CDs between customers.  This often times occurs when fair pricing cannot be achieved for customers on both sides of the transaction (i.e., the purchase and sale).  “JPT’s special procedures for cross-trades required each branch effecting a cross-trade to identify the cross-trade using the order ticket.  The branch was required to document the benefit of the transaction to each customer with the order ticket.  Then, the trading dek was required to determine a fair value for the product…”

The regulatory proceeding remains pending.

For a copy of FINRA’s regulatory complaint, click https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/fda_documents/2015045257501%20Ricky%20Alan%20Mantei%20CRD%201098981%20Complaint%20va.pdf

The Wolper Law Firm has previously blogged about the reported customer complaints against Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei and Cindy Chiellini.  At present, Ricky Mantei a/k/a Rick Mantei has sixteen (16) reported customer complaint disclosures and Cindy Chiellini has twenty-nine (29).  Many of these complaints involve the same securities products, which include the sale of market-linked CDs, market-linked notes and steepener notes.

For a copy of Rick Mantei and Cindy Chiellini’s CRD, click

https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/1015592#disclosuresSection

https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/1098981

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.

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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