The attorneys at Meyer Wilson are currently investigating annuity fraud claims against former LPL Financial broker and investment adviser representative Roger S. Zullo (CRD# 4658534).
On Jan. 27, the Massachusetts Securities Division censured LPL Financial for allegedly ignoring red flags and warnings from Roger S. Zullo’s supervisors about the nature of his annuity sales.
According to the Consent Order, LPL was censured and was ordered to provide an accounting for losses attributable to the alleged misconduct and provide restitution to investors. The state ordered LPL to pay a $975,000 fine and is requiring LPL to conduct an investigation into Zullo’s alleged fraudulent activities.
The Massachusetts Securities Division filed an administrative complaint against LPL Financial LLC and its broker and investment advisor Roger S. Zullo CRD# 1882087) on Dec. 1, 2016 for allegedly making sales of unsuitable variable annuities to at least 11 health care employees and retiree clients, bringing in approximately $1.825 million in variable annuity commissions over three years.
According to the complaint:
“For years, Roger S. Zullo, an LPL advisor, has defrauded his clients, lied to his supervisors and fabricated client financial suitability profiles, in order to enrich himself and LPL by selling scores of identical, illiquid and high-commission variable annuities.”
The Massachusetts Securities Division says the vast majority of Zullo’s annuity sales were the Polaris Platinum annuities, which carry a 7 percent commission, which is split 90 percent for Zullo and 10 percent for LPL.
In fact, about $1,791,000 of that came from commissions on the same product, the Polaris Platinum III (B Shares) variable annuity, the complaint states. Many clients were forced to pay surrender charges after they were convinced to switch to this annuity.
One of the clients Zullo allegedly defrauded was a single woman and retired healthcare worker who had known him professionally for over 20 years. Zullo’s actions reportedly left her:
“with no financial sophistication [and] no assets at her disposal except those in Zullo’s hands and no nearby family to assist her financially.”
The complaint further argued that Zullo disregarded his clients’ wellbeing due to his greed to secure more commissions. Not only did the complaint note his misconduct, it also noted LPL’s systemic failure to provide adequate supervision.
As a result of these alleged fraudulent annuity transactions, LPL recognized as a “Top Producer” and awarded him membership in its “Chairman’s Club.” Zullo was also LPL’s second highest earning representative out of approximately 61 advisors during this time.
FINRA records show Zullo joined LPL in 2004 and has been registered as a broker-dealer agent in Massachusetts since 1988 and an investment advisor representative in Massachusetts since 2006. He is currently not registered with any state or firm.
The securities fraud attorneys at Meyer Wilson securities are currently investigating Roger Zullo’s alleged annuity fraud scheme. If you lost money investing with former LPL Financial broker Roger S. Zullo, or have questions about transactions you sold or purchased through LPL, contact our securities fraud attorneys today for a free case evaluation.