Erez Law is investigating claims related to Angel E. Aquino-Velez (CRD # 2687333), a Miami, Florida, broker who has been registered with Morgan Stanley since February 2010. Aquino previously was registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico (September 2006-September 2009) and UBS Financial Services, Inc. in Manati, Puerto Rico (May 2000-September 2006).
In addition, Aquino recently has been the subject of several customer complaints, according to his CRD:
- November 2015: “Claimant alleges unsuitable overconcentration and misrepresentations concerning closed-end funds. Time frame: unspecified.” The customer requests damages of $300,000.
- November 2015: “Claimant alleged, inter alia, unsuitability and misrepresentation with respect to purchases of municipal bonds in accounts – 2012 to 2015.” The customer requests damages of $2,036,911.00.
- July 2015: “Claimants allege, inter alia, unsuitability with respect to the recommendation and overconcentration of municipal bonds in trust accounts – 2012 to 2014.” The customer requests damages of $500,000.
- June 2014: “The customers allege unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentation and omission of material facts from March 2007 to September 2009.” The customer requested damages of $4,940,000 and received damages of $363,000. In response, Aquino stated “FA categorically denies any wrongdoing and that all recommendations were in the best interest of the client. The settlement was made by Merrill Lynch without my involvement or input. Merrill Lynch settled arbitration #14-01102 on 09/21/2015 for $363,000.00.”
- April 2014: “Claimants allege, inter alia, misrepresentation with respect to the purchases of Puerto Rico municipal bonds in their accounts – April 2012 to December 2012.” The customer requests damages of $200,000. In response to the complaint, Aquino stated “FA categorically denies any wrongdoing and that all recommendations were in the best interest of the client.”
- April 2014: “Time frame: 2005-present claimant alleges tht (sic) Fas recommended a reckless and unsuitable concentration in risky closed-end funds.” The customer requests damages of $227,734.00. In response to the complaint, Aquino stated: “FA categorically denies any wrongdoing and that all recommendations were in the best interest of the client.”
In addition, Aquino’s CRD shows one older complaint from 2001.
A broker must have reasonable grounds for each recommendation made to investors considering such factors as the customer’s other securities holdings, financial situation, and risk tolerance. In addition, before a firm offers a security to its customers, the firm must conduct due diligence, that is investigate the facts surrounding the security, to confirm that it is suitable for any customer of the firm. The suitability of an investment for a particular individual is at the center of the investment process and one of the key fiduciary duties owed by a firm and its broker to the customer. A firm may be held liable for its failure to recommend suitable investments to its customers.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch, may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Aquino’s customers. If you were a client of Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, or Angel Aquino, and have experienced investment losses or financial irregularities, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our “contact form.” Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies.