New Jersey Bars Robert Merlo For Fraud Conviction

New Jersey Bureau of Securities barred prior Allstate Financial Services securities broker Robert Merlo (CRD#: 1608409, Midland Park, New Jersey) for theft and fraudulent practices. Not only that, but Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) also barred Merlo from the securities industry. Here’s a closer look at the reasons for these serious sanctions against Merlo.

New Jersey Bureau Of Securities Bars Robert Merlo For Committing Wire Fraud, Identify Theft

Notably, the New Jersey regulator expelled Robert Merlo because of his conviction of theft and fraudulent practices. A Superseding Indictment reportedly shows that from 2016 to 2017, Merlo engaged in a wire fraud scheme which was meant for stealing $2,000,000 from a deceased woman. The identity of the client was stolen as part of a process of illegally transferring assets to the broker.

The Superseding Indictment maintained that Robert Merlo caused another defendant to open an account in the deceased client’s name. It appears stolen stock certificates were deposited and sold from this account. Those sales resulted in a cash balance of more than $2,000,000. Critically, the Indictment alleges that Merlo tried to purchase $2,000,000 in gold coins using the balance in that account.

Because of this, a jury in March 2019 found Robert Merlo guilty of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identify theft. The broker received a 42-month prison sentence because of these criminal offenses. The court also ordered supervised release for two years following Merlo’s incarceration and for the broker to pay $75,000 in restitution.

New Jersey Bureau of Securities determined that a fraud conviction served as a cause for Robert Merlo to face disbarment. This bar is applicable to New Jersey.

FINRA Bars Robert Merlo For Failing To Provide Requested Information Possibly Relating To Indictment

Apparently, FINRA also barred Robert Merlo in January 2019 for non-compliance with a request for information. Specifically, FINRA asked Merlo for information in 2018 following the point that Allstate Financial Services disaffiliated with him over the receipt of the Indictment charging the broker with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identify theft. Apparently, Merlo worked for Allstate from 2004 to 2018.

Because of Merlo’s failure to respond, FINRA suspended him in 2018. Evidently, Robert Merlo had an opportunity to cure the suspension but did not follow through with providing FINRA what it asked for. This suspension converted to a bar by January 15, 2019 when Merlo did not request termination of his suspension. Notably, FINRA prohibits the broker from being a securities broker for any FINRA firm. This includes virtually every major brokerage firm in the United States.

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BrokerCheck indicates that Robert Merlo denies allegations of his improper conduct. Did Merlo unreasonably cause you to sustain losses? If so, contact Soreide Law Group at (888) 760-6552 and speak with experienced lawyers about a possible recovery of your investment losses. Soreide Law Group represents clients on a contingency fee basis and advances all costs. The firm has recovered millions for investors who have suffered losses due to the misconduct of financial advisors and securities brokers.