Financial Advisor Todd Cirella Suspended & Fined by FINRA

Todd Cirella (CRD#: 2396336) is a registered Broker at Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. in Melville, NY.

Broker’s Background

He entered the securities industry in 1993 and previously worked for Sands Brothers & Co., Ltd.

Current And Past Allegations Of Conduct Leading To Investment Loss

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in January 2023, FINRA sanctioned Todd Cirella, imposing a civil and administrative fine of $5,000, ordering restitution of $27,566, and suspending him from all capacities for three months beginning February 21, 2023 and ending May 20, 2023. The FINRA sanction states, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Cirella consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he willfully violated the Best Interest Obligation under Rule 15l-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Regulation BI) by recommending a series of trading in a senior customer’s account that was excessive, unsuitable, and not in the customer’s best interest. The findings stated that the customer relied on Cirella’s advice and routinely followed his recommendations and, as a result, Cirella exercised de facto control over the customer’s account. Cirella’s trading in the customer’s account generated $27,566 in commissions and resulted in approximately $12,000 in trading losses, an annualized cost-to-equity ratio of 37.65 percent, and an annualized turnover rate of 20.39. The high cost-to-equity ratio meant the customer’s account would have to grow by more than 37 percent annually just to break even, making it very difficult for the customer to realize a profit. This level of trading was excessive, unsuitable, and not in the customer’s best interest.”

For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.

In addition, Todd Cirella has been the subject of three other disclosures, including the following:

  • September 2009 — “UNAUTHORIZED TRADING, AND EXCESSIVE COMMISSIONS.” The customer dispute was settled for $60,000.
  • August 1995 — “OFFERS AND SALES OF SECURITIES BY UNLICENSED AGENT.” The Wisconsin Commissioner of Securities imposed a consent order of prohibition and denial of license upon Todd Cirella.

For a copy of Todd Cirella’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, P.A. represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis. Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, P.A., 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]