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Steven Zerbarini (Former NEXT Financial FA) Disciplined for Discretionary Trades in Customers’ Accou

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently announced Steven Elliot Zerbarini (Zerbarini) entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent without admitting or denying the allegations against him. The settlement concerns allegations Zerbarini exercised discretion in “at least ten” of his customers’ accounts without written authorization, thereby causing his firm’s books and records inaccurate. As a result, Zerbarini was suspended from the financial industry for 45 business days and fined $10,000.

Zerbarini (FINRA CRD No. 2845669) is an associated person registered with FINRA since 1997. During Zerbarini’s career, he was registered with several firms, including IDS Life Insurance Company and Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. From 2006 through December 2018, Zerbarini was employed by and registered with NEXT Financial Group, Inc. (“NEXT Financial”). In January 2019, Zerbarini was terminated from NEXT Financial for exercising discretionary authority in customer accounts in violation for firm policies. Zerbarini currently is not associated with any FINRA member.

FINRA’s Department of Enforcement investigated Zerbarini’s alleged misconduct and found over the course of two days while employed by NEXT Financial he exercised discretion in 71 non-discretionary customer accounts and executed numerous trades without written authorization. According to FINRA, Zerbarini had not obtained prior written authorization from the customers to exercise discretion in their accounts, and NEXT Financial had not accepted the accounts for discretionary trading.

Based upon the foregoing misconduct, FINRA alleged Zerbarini violated NASD Rule 2510(b), as well as FINRA Rule 2010. For example, NASD Rule 2510 prohibits a registered representative from exercising any discretionary authority in a customer’s account unless such customer has provided prior written authorization and the account has been accepted by a FINRA member. In cases where a financial advisor executes unauthorized trades without proper authorization, the financial advisor and brokerage firm may be found liable for investment damage, as well as disciplined by securities regulators such as the case here.

Lufrano Law, LLC is a national investment litigation firm and has experience representing investors who have investment disputes with brokers and broker-dealers. Please contact us at (800) 627-2179 for more information if you have been the victim of investment negligence or fraud.

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