Michael Christopher Venturino (CRD #5872439, Dix Hills, New York)

August 22, 2022 – Venturino (CRD #5872439) was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and violated FINRA Rule 2020 by churning customer accounts. The complaint alleges that Venturino exercised de facto control of the trading in the accounts, controlling the volume and frequency of trading in the accounts, deciding what securities to buy and sell, the quantity of each transaction, and the timing of each transaction. Venturino’s customers relied on him to make securities recommendations and consistently followed his recommendations. Venturino also exercised control in instances when he made unauthorized transactions in the customers’ accounts. Venturino’s trading in these accounts was excessive and quantitatively unsuitable for each of the customers based on their investment profiles as evidenced by the high turnover rates and cost-to-equity ratios, the use of short-term, in-and-out trading, the frequency of the transactions, and the transaction costs incurred. Venturino acted with scienter. In churning these accounts, Venturino acted with the intent to defraud or, at the very least, with reckless disregard of his customers’ interests, seeking to maximize his own compensation in disregard of the interests of his customers. Venturino deliberately incurred unreasonably high trading costs in these customers’ accounts, which made it virtually impossible for the accounts to be profitable. Indeed, Venturino’s trading caused approximately $1,028,389 in cumulative customer losses and caused the customers to pay $518,313 in commissions, markups, markdowns, margin interest and other trading costs. Conversely, Venturino received more than $325,000 from trading in the accounts. The complaint also alleges that while exercising control over the customer accounts, Venturino traded in an excessive and unsuitable manner. The complaint further alleges that Venturino executed transactions in the non-discretionary accounts of his customers, without the customers’ prior authorization or consent. (FINRA Case #2021070337501)