FINRA barred former Merrill Lynch representative Andres Enrique Rojas of Miami for working with another senior broker, Giancarlo Ciocca, to impersonate a Guatemalan client to obtain online access to a customer's account. FINRA also determined Rojas made a false statement to Merrill Lynch in order to cover up his misconduct.
According to the findings, Rojas participated in an improper phone call with Ciocaa in which the latter impersonated a firm customer. FINRA charges that the purpose of the phone call was to obtain customer information that would allow the pair to inappropriately access a customer's online account.
FINRA determined that Rojas specifically submitted an e-mail request during the scheme, confirming in writing that the customer being impersonated had requested online access to the account: Rojas allegedly sent the impersonatiing e-mail, thereby making a false representation even though Rojas purportedly knew the request was a fake.
Investigators allege that Rojas and Ciocca did indeed then access the customer's account without the customer's knowledge or consent and then changed the customer's account preferences, also without permission, in order to suppress account statements and notifications.
FINRA argues these changes obstructed or otherwise prevented the customer from timely detecting substantial losses.
Merrill Lynch terminated Rojas' employment shortly thereafter, alleging he diverted a client's account statements pertaining to a collateralized foreign exchange. FINRA barred Rojas in a default decision after he failed to provide required testimony when requested and for an "egregious" violation of FINRA's forgery/falsification of records guidelines.
In 2013, FINRA barred former Merrill Lynch Senior Vice President of Investments Giancarlo Ciocca from the industry for similar misconduct—impersonating a customer during a telephone call with the firm, obtaining unauthorized access to the customer's online account and providing the customer with inaccurate reports that effectively concealed unauthorized and improper trading activity and losses in the customer's account.
If you have invested with Andres Enrique Rojas, Giancarlo Ciocca or with any financial adviser, broker or firm whose impersonation or other unauthorized activity, including false representations and/or account statement suppressions have prevented timely and transparent access to your account, and such tactics have proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.