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LPL, WEG Advisor Faces Child Porn Charges

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What You Need to Know

  • Wealth Enhancement Group says it terminated the advisor after his arrest for alleged distribution and possession of child pornography.
  • Between April 15 and Aug.12, the defendant allegedly used his cellphone to upload, possess and distribute images of child porn.
  • The next hearing scheduled is a pre-indictment conference on Sept. 14.

A Madison, New Jersey-based rep affiliated with LPL Financial who also served as a registered advisor and broker with Wealth Enhancement Group was arrested and charged with distribution and possession of child pornography, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll.

Nicholas Spagnoletti, 52, was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of children for the distribution of child pornography, a crime of the second degree, and one count of endangering the welfare of children for the possession of child pornography, a crime of the third degree, according to Carroll.

Asked for comment, an LPL spokesperson on Tuesday said only: “Nicholas Spagnoletti is no longer a client of the firm.”

“We take this matter very seriously, and are fully cooperating with law enforcement authorities,” a WEG spokesperson told ThinkAdvisor.

“We expect our professionals to hold themselves to the highest possible ethical and legal standards, and as such, we have terminated this advisor,” he said. “Until more information from the legal process is established, it would be inappropriate for us to provide further public comment.”

Spagnoletti joined WEG last month as an investment advisor rep with Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services and as a registered rep with Wealth Enhancement Brokerage Services, after leaving Mutual Securities, where he was an affiliated rep since 2018, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website. The WEG divisions each offer securities through LPL.

Mutual Securities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Spagnoletti was a registered rep with LPL from 2012-2018 but became affiliated with the firm again in July, according to BrokerCheck. He first joined the industry as a registered rep in 1990, when he became affiliated with Prudential/Pruco Securities.

It was alleged that, between April 15 and August 12, the defendant used his personal cellphone to “upload, possess and distribute images of child pornography,” Carroll said. His office was first alerted to the upload by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, he noted.

After the defendant’s arrest on Thursday, he was transported to the Morris County Correctional Facility pending a court appearance scheduled for Aug. 13.

He was released on Friday on “Pre-Trial Monitoring Level Two, with a condition of No Contact with Minors,” Paul Merkler, public information officer for the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, told ThinkAdvisor by email on Monday. The next hearing scheduled is a pre-indictment conference on Sept. 14 at 8:30 a.m., he added.

(Image: Adobe Stock)