Adam Belardino Pleaded Guilty to Embezzlement
Adam Belardino (CRD# 5221927), formerly a broker registered with MML Investors Services, recently pleaded guilty to embezzling a customer’s funds. MDF Law is investigating the former Elmsford, New York broker for similar conduct. We encourage investors to contact us with any concerns.
More details about the allegations to which he pleaded guilty follow below, based on a November 28, 2023 examination of his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report.
SEC Bars Belardino Following Guilty Plea
In October 2022, Adam Belardino pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) administrative proceeding filed on June 16, 2023. He also pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements. As the SEC described, the charges against him alleged that he embezzled and diverted an investor’s funds. In February 2023, he was sentenced to a 42-month prison term. He was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $501,499.67. Following his guilty plea, the SEC indefinitely barred him from registering as a broker or investment adviser.
FINRA Investigated, Sanctioned Belardino
On May 12, 2021, FINRA sanctioned Mr. Belardino over allegations that he failed to appear for requested on-the-record testimony. According to a disclosure on his BrokerCheck profile, FINRA was investigating his termination from his former member firm. The disclosure describes multiple customer complaints against Mr. Belardino, including allegations that he recommended unsuitable securities. As a result of his failure to appear for testimony, FINRA indefinitely barred him from registering with any member firm.
Past Disputes Settled for More than $1 Million
Between 2019 and 2021, five parties of investors filed disputes involving Mr. Belardino. The claims detailed allegations of excessive trading, misrepresentations, unauthorized transactions, forgery, and unsuitable investment recommendations. His former member firms settled the disputes for a total exceeding $1.6 million.
Adam Belardino Pleaded Guilty to Embezzlement Allegations
A February 9, 2023 press release by the Department of Justice describes the charges against Mr. Belardino. Among other things, they alleged that he embezzled more than $313,000 from a customer. He allegedly used the funds to pay his firm’s operating expenses and to pay credit card charges, “which consisted primarily of personal items.” He also allegedly caused the purchase of a life insurance policy for another customer without her knowledge or authorization. In addition to using her funds to make premium payments, the charges alleged, he received commissions from the insurance companies.
FINRA: Belardino Last Based in Elmsford, New Jersey
Adam Belardino began his career as a broker in 2007. That was the year he registered with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Iselin, New Jersey. Less than a year later, he joined MSI Financial in Elmsford, New Jersey, remaining there until he joined MML Investors Services in 2019. Based out of the firm’s Elmsford office, he stayed at MML until the firm fired him in 2019, according to his BrokerCheck profile.
Former Adam Belardino Clients May Have Recovery Options
Do you have concerns regarding investments you made with Adam Belardino? You may have grounds to pursue a FINRA arbitration proceeding to recover losses. Contact MDF Law to discuss your situation, especially if the following apply to you:
- Your investments were not suitable for your circumstances and needs;
- You did not authorize activity in your account;
- Your investments included fees or charges that weren’t disclosed or authorized;
- The investments in your account comprised a substantial portion of your net worth.
MDF Law’s seasoned team of investor advocates has proven experience delivering results for our clients. Call 800-767-8040 for a free consultation today.