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FINRA: Cetera Rep ‘Willfully Failed’ to Disclose Tax Liens

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Department of Enforcement filed a complaint against a Cetera rep on Monday, alleging that he “willfully failed to timely amend” his Form U4 to disclose six unsatisfied federal and state tax liens totaling $164,521.

The broker, Victor A. Rigoni III, also “never disclosed a state tax lien in the amount of $11,304, even though he knew about it when it was filed in early 2018 and FINRA alerted him about it in January 2019,” according to the complaint.

Rigoni also “falsely attested” to Summit Brokerage Services, his employing member firm, “on six annual firm compliance questionnaires between 2012 and 2017 that he was in compliance with FINRA’s Form U4 disclosure requirements,” according to FINRA.

In November 2010, Rigoni was registered as a general securities representative through an association with Summit, which was a Cetera Financial Group broker-dealer firm until dropping its BD registration in 2019.

Summit then became part of Cetera Advisor Networks, and Rigoni became registered as a GSR with Cetera, where he currently works, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck website, which lists a total of 10 liens among 17 total disclosures over 19 years. He is currently registered as a broker and RIA, according to BrokerCheck.

Cetera did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

As a result of Rigoni’s actions, he violated FINRA Rules 2010 (governing standards of commercial honor and principles of trade) and 1122 (filing of misleading information), the regulator claimed.

The FINRA Department of Enforcement requested a FINRA Office of Hearing Officers panel conduct a disciplinary proceeding.

On May 14, FINRA made a preliminary determination to recommend that disciplinary action be brought against Rigoni for his actions.