Mario Divita Suspended by FINRA
Mario Divita (CRD# 1504199) was recently sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) over alleged supervisory failures. According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, last accessed on December 15, 2021, Mr. Divita is registered with Traderfield Securities in Flushing, New York.
FINRA: Mario Divita Failed to Detect Red Flags of Excessive Trading
In November 2021 FINRA released a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2018059045003) detailing findings of misconduct by Mario Divita. According to FINRA, Mr. Divita failed to supervise a representative who “recommended excessive trading in customer accounts.” The findings state that the representative had no supervisor reviewing their trading activity until Mr Divita took direct supervision of the broker; in fact, according to FINRA, the firm’s written supervisory procedures contained no provision designating a supervisor for the broker in question. Once Mr. Divita started supervising the broker, FINRA states, he “did not take reasonable steps to monitor for excessive trading,” declining to review the broker’s exception reports for signs of excessive trading even though he allegedly “knew that the broker’s customers were responsible for a large volume of trades at the firm.”
FINRA’s findings go on to state that rather than reviewing exception reports, Mr. Divita instead “reviewed daily trading reports and simply focused on trading volume.” He allegedly did not monitor “significant” losses in accounts belonging to the broker’s customers, and “failed to recognize the broker’s high commissions as a red flag.” Other red flags he allegedly “did not consider, or even understand” were turnover rates and cost-to-equity ratios in the accounts. As a result of his alleged supervisory failures, FINRA found, the broker was able to continue engaging in excessive trading in the customer accounts, resulting in $538,057 in losses while generating $451,057 in commission charges.
In connection with these findings, FINRA issued Mario Divita a $5,000 fine; a 3-month suspension from any FINRA member firm in all principal capacities; and an undertaking to attend and satisfactorily complete 24 hours of continuing education within 90 days.
AWC with Traderfield Securities and Mario Divita
Pending Complaint Alleges Excessive Commissions
FINRA records list one pending customer complaint involving Mario Divita. Filed in 2019, it alleges excessive commission charges in connection to over-the-counter equity investments. Divita disputes the allegations, arguing in the comment that the client confirmed the trades and made a profit.
Settled Complaints Alleged Fraud, Misrepresentation
FINRA records also describe two settled complaints involving Mario Divita. Both filed in 2019, they alleged fraud and misrepresentation of material facts. The complaints settled for a total of $60,500. A “Broker Statement” on one complaint states “a lot of the activity” alleged in the complaint that occurred before Mr. Divita joined the firm.
Mario Divita Currently Registered with Traderfield Securities
According to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records, Mario Divita’s 24 years of experience in the securities industry began in 1988, when he joined Morgan Stanley DW in Jersey City, New Jersey. He left that firm in 2006, joining Quasar Trading in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2014. The following year he departed Quasar Trading for Traderfield Securities in Flushing, New York, where he has been registered since. Records show that he has passed seven securities industry examinations and is registered as a broker in two US states.
For more information on Mario Divita’s registration history, including the recent FINRA sanction against him, visit his FINRA BrokerCheck report. (The above-referenced information was accessed on December 15, 2021.)