Worcester Financial Advisor Fined for Hiding Outside Business Venture from Employer

Perry Stephen Abbonizio of Worcester, Pennsylvania was fined and suspended for participating in outside business activities, and persuading his customers to invest, without providing notice to his employer.

From March 2008 through April 2011, Mr. Abbonizio, a stock broker with Wells Fargo Advisors, was engaged in an outside business venture and solicited approximately ten Wells Fargo customers to invest in the company without informing his employer. Mr. Abbonizio received compensation in the form of shares in the company for convincing people to invest, and the total value of his shares was approximately $100,000.

The specifics of the company and Mr. Abbonizio’s exact position are unclear. Regardless, FINRA rules clearly state that no employee of a registered FINRA member may receive compensation from any business activity outside the scope of his work without prior written notice to his employer. Further, Wells Fargo policies and procedures clearly prohibit representatives from soliciting customers to participate in any private securities transaction not associated with the firm, whether or not the representative received compensation for doing so.

Mr. Abbonizio’s involvement in outside business activities with his Wells Fargo clients, and his failure to disclose the information to Wells Fargo, puts his investors at great risk. Because Mr. Abbonizio is convincing his customers to invest in these private securities, they are embarking on an investment that does not have any company oversight or procedures to keep Mr. Abbonizio in check as the outside business activity has been hidden from Wells Fargo.

Working with an outside company and failing to inform his employer cost Mr. Abbonizio a $10,000 fine and four-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity.

If you think your financial advisor has broken rules governing the securities industry or acted outside of his authority, you may have a claim. Contact Investor Defense Law to see if you can recover your losses.

Investor Defense Law LLP is a law firm dedicated to helping investors in California, Georgia, and Washington recover losses caused by stockbrokers, financial advisers, or investment firms. To learn more, contact an investment fraud attorney at 800.487.4660.

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