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Former Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor John Batista Bocchino Barred by FINRA

Posted on Friday, June 2nd, 2017 at 2:17 pm    

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Erez Law is currently investigating former UBS Financial Services Inc. and Morgan Stanley financial advisor John Batista Bocchino (CRD# 2876260), who was recently barred by FINRA regarding concealing approximately $190 million in Venezuelan bond trades from his former member firm Morgan Stanley. Bocchino was registered with UBS Financial Services Inc. in New York, New York from April 2012 to October 2016, when “Mr. Bocchino voluntarily resigned after FINRA filed a complaint on September 2, 2016 alleging that, while he was at Morgan Stanley from May 2011 through March 2012, he conducted certain trades in a manner that violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 4511 (formerly NASD Conduct Rule 3110). The allegations are not related to Mr. Bocchino’s conduct at UBS,” according to his CRD report.

Previously, Bocchino was registered with Morgan Stanley in New York, New York from June 2009 to March 2012, when he was terminated regarding, “Engaging in securities transactions for clients within accounts other than their own. No customer complaint involved.”

In September 2016, Bocchino was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he “carried out a scheme to evade, circumvent, and thwart his member firm’s policies and procedures regarding Venezuelan bond trading.” According to the complaint, Bocchino “used nominee accounts using the names of well-known U.S. financial institutions, hid the identities of customers selling Venezuelan bonds in violation of the firm’s policies, entered false information into the firm’s order entry system, provided false information to the firm’s settlement desk, and falsified documents. As a result of respondent’s misconduct, he was able to create the false appearance of compliance with the firm’s Venezuelan bond trading restrictions and trade approximately $190 million worth of Venezuelan bonds in violation of the firm’s policies and without the appropriate scrutiny of his supervisors and the firm’s AML and compliance departments.” The complaint also alleges that Bocchino falsified firm records, including new account documents, trade tickets, order confirmations, customer account statements, firm blotters and firm reports.

In January 2016, an investigation was initiated by FINRA and a preliminary determination was recommended to bring disciplinary action about Bocchino in connection with potential violations of FINRA Rules 2010, 3310(a) and 4511, and NASD Conduct Rule 3110.

Bocchino has been the subject of one customer complaint, according to his CRD report:

October 2009. “Claimants allege, inter alia, that from October of 2008 through December of 2008, the financial advisor made unauthorized and excessive trades that were unsuitable for their risk tolerance.” The client sought $380,180 in damages and the case was settled for $225,000.

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, UBS Financial Services Inc. and Morgan Stanley may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Bocchino’s customers.

Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against former UBS Financial Services Inc. and Morgan Stanley financial advisor John Batista Bocchino, who was recently barred by FINRA regarding concealing approximately $190 million in Venezuelan bond trades from his former member firm Morgan Stanley. If you were a client of former UBS Financial Services Inc. and Morgan Stanley financial advisor John Batista Bocchino or another firm, and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.