FINRA fined and suspended former Centaurus Financial, Inc. and Brookstreet Securities Corporation (both Newport Beach, CA) broker Tiffany Ann De Ruosi (aka Tiffany DeRuosi, who has since married and changed her last name to Rigali) for willfully failing to disclose a criminal conviction and guilty plea that previously caused the California Department of Insurance to revoke her license, finding an "unfitness to perform the functions of an insurance licensee."
The California Department of Insurance's disciplinary involvement began last decade, when the Department imposed a restriction on De Ruosi's license due to her prior conviction. After lifting the sanction in 2013, the CA Department of Insurance revoked De Ruosi's license in 2016 based on her "demonstrated present or potential unfitness."
As for De Ruosi (CRD #2256196)'s lengthy BrokerCheck history, her first customer dispute, settled during arbitration for $50,000, occurred in 2002 while employed as a VP of Investments at A.G. Edwards & Sons, when a past client alleged negligence, unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentation and fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and various law and regulation violations pertaining to over-the-counter (OTC) equity products.
In 2005, a slew of disputes alleging unsuitability transformed into a civil suit, while a 2005 dispute alleging fraudulent misrepresentation, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty resulted in a $1,136,698 settlement.
According to BrokerCheck, products associated with this Los Angeles county-based litigation and eventual settlement included variable annuities (VAs), mutual funds, stocks, unit investment trusts (UITs), individual equities, and IRA accounts.
The common allegation amongst the complaints that eventually evolved into a civil suit reads, "alleged that entire net worth was placed into unduly risky, unsuitable investments, improperly managed, and then abandoned."
In 2007, according to her BrokerCheck file, De Ruosi, a graduate of California State University Long Beach, pleaded not guilty to felony child endangerment in Orange County Superior Court, while in 2014, De Ruosi—again charged with felony child endangerment—agreed to plead guilty after the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. De Ruosi additionally was convicted of "driving when blood alcohol .08% or more with two priors," but not of "driving under the influence of alcohol with two priors." Her conviction came with the imposition of a 365-day jail sentence.
Regardless, FINRA issued De Ruosi a suspension for her failure to timely disclose a felony charge on an industry form; instead, she failed to timely amend her paperwork to provide an answer in the affirmative to the question, "have you ever...been charged with a felony?" until over 10 months after the September 2014 charge.
FINRA also cited De Ruosi for providing misleading or false answers to member firm Centaurus on the firm's annual compliance questionnaire, which asked if De Ruosi had been arrested, charged and arraigned for any criminal offense. Investigators wrote that although De Ruosi had been arrested, charged, and arraigned, she falsely answered "no" on Centaurus' questionnaire.
If you have invested with ex-Centaurus and Brookstreet Securities rep Tiffany Ann De Ruosi (Rigali), or with any broker or financial adviser whose unsuitable recommendations, fraudulent misrepresentations, or breach of fiduciary duty in transacting excessively risky products 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.