FINRA suspended Summit Equities, Inc. representative Robert Louis Iola, Jr. and fined him $5,000 for allegedly creating and distributing inaccurate and misleading portfolio valuation summaries to multiple customers.
According to the investigation, Iola and his staff produced the summaries manually using a series of "simple mathematical formulas" in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet after Iola was unsuccessful in his attempt to use Summit's systems to create accurate value and performance summaries.
Investigators found that although Iola did check for internal consistency, he failed to cross-reference the summaries' figures with those in account statements, failing to review the Excel spreadsheets directly and relying on his staff to input all figures accurately.
FINRA found multiple mistakes in the gathering and inputting of data, which made the summaries misleading. Specifically finding that some beginning and ending values, withdrawal figures and rates of return were incorrect.
FINRA also charged Iola with failure to provide footnotes or disclaimers on the summaries that would have been necessary to understand the documents' data.
FINRA concluded that because the summaries did not include explanations or the basis of calculation methodology, investors did not receive a sound basis for evaluating the documents' specified return figures.
If you have invested with Robert Louis Iola Jr., Summit Equities or with any broker or firm whose inaccurate portfolio valuation summaries or misleading/lack of sound basis for financial decision-making has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.