Miami Financial Advisor Barred for Violating FINRA Rule 8210; Accused of Investment Fraud and Association With Firm After Disqualification
In the summer of 2019, FINRA filed an investment fraud complaint against Robert J. Escabio—a registered financial advisor from Miami, Florida. On February 5th, 2020, the Office of Hearing Officers released a final decision in the case of Department of Enforcement v. Robert Juan Escobio. For his failure to cooperate with an investigation in allegations that he continued to associate with a broker-dealer after being disqualified for allegedly defrauding investors, Mr. Escobio has been barred from the securities industry.
Miami Financial Advisor Roberto Escobio: investigation for a Pattern of Fraud
Robert J. Escobio first entered the securities industry nearly four decades ago. In 2000, he joined Southern Trust Securities—based at a branch location in Miami, Florida. In 2014, the federal regulators opened up an investigation into this individual after allegations that he engaged in a pattern of fraudulent conduct in the buying and selling of commodities futures.
Specifically, the United States CFTC alleged that Mr. Escobio and co-conspirators defrauded as many as 135 investors in a scheme involving the off-shore sale of precious metals and related commodities futures contracts. While he denied ever being involved in any wrongdoing, a judgment was entered against him and the other defendants. They were collectively ordered to pay more than $2.1 million in restitution to investors.
Allegations: Mr. Escobio Continued to Work While Statutorily Disqualified
In 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sent an official letter to Southern Trust Securities indicating that Mr. Escobio was statutorily disqualified for serving as a financial advisor due to the judgment entered against him in the commodities fraud case. However, the agency believes that this broker continued associating with the firm in violation of securities industry rules. In 2019, FINRA opened up an investigation into Southern Trust Securities—specifically, the agency was reviewing whether Mr. Escobio had improperly continued to work for the firm after being disqualified as a matter of law.
Barred for Violating FINRA Rule 8210
As part of its investigation, FINRA regulators requested documents, records, and testimony from Roberto J. Escobio. Under FINRA Rule 8210, all registered representatives and associated persons have a professional obligation to cooperate with official investigation. According to FINRA, Mr. Escobio failed to respond to more than ten different requests from the agency. As a result of his failure to cooperate, Mr. Escobio has now been permanently barred from associating with any FINRA member firm in all capacities. As noted in the decision, willful lack of cooperation justifies harsh sanctions as it subverts the entire process.
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At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Miami investment fraud lawyers fight aggressively to help investors recover the maximum available financial compensation. If you lost money due to broker fraud or broker misconduct, we are here to help. Call us now for a confidential review of your case. We represent wronged investors in Miami and throughout Florida.