FINRA fined and suspended Independent Financial Group (Fresno, CA) broker Dennis Anthony Contrestano for a series of unauthorized transactions while associated with prior firm RBC Capital, also of Fresno. After RBC filed a termination disclosure in November 2017 indicating Contrestano's dismissal for violating firm policies regarding use of discretion in client accounts, Independent Financial Group (IFG) hired Contrestano on December 15.
The findings state that Contrestano (CRD #1582393) executed six unauthorized transactions in an RBC Capital customer's account in October 2017, effecting $12,530.96 in unauthorized transactions, which generated $440.79 in commissions, all without the client's verbal nor written authorization.
According to the report, Contrestano's customer promptly recognized the transactions as unauthorized and complained to RBC Capital about them, spurring the firm to cancel the trades and return the customer's funds while subsequently terminating Contrestano's employment.
Despite Contrestano's conduct-spurred exit from RBC, IFG hired him just weeks after the employment separation disclosure and Contrestano remains associated with IFG's Fresno branch as of July 2018.
Contrestano's BrokerCheck file additionally indicates that after his separation from RBC Capital, he became an agent/representative for "Capital Financial & Insurance Services Inc.," which offers general securities and life insurance.
Fortunately, Contrestano's customer at RBC Capital spotted the misconduct early, when damages were confined to less than a month of unauthorized trading, but many investors, especially those with larger portfolios, might not recognize the red flags until the incurrence of more substantial losses.
If you invested with Dennis Anthony Contrestano or with any broker or financial adviser who has abused their discretionary authority or effected unauthorized transactions in your investment accounts that have proven harmful to your financial interests, such as the generation of excessive fees and purchase of costly and unsuitable securities, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.