Close Close

Regulation and Compliance > Litigation

Ex-Merrill Rep Settles Smoothie Lawsuit for $7,500

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

What You Need to Know

  • James Iannazzo was fired by Merrill after he was captured on video throwing a drink and swearing at employees at a smoothie shop.
  • An 18-year-old employee of the shop sued Iannazzo for $300,000 in damages; Iannazzo's lawyer called the settlement a token payment.
  • The criminal charges against Iannazzo will be dropped if he successfully completes a year of probation.

After receiving probation in April over an incident in which he was captured on video throwing a drink and swearing at employees at a Robeks smoothie shop in Connecticut, ex-Merrill Lynch broker James Iannazzo has now settled a civil lawsuit over the incident for $7,500.

Iannazzo was fired in January by the wirehouse after the incident, which was widely reported and shared on social media sites.

He turned himself in to the Fairfield Police Department after the incident. The video captured of the incident showed him throwing a drink and calling an employee an “immigrant loser,”  questioning her immigration status.

Iannazzo was charged with intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the second degree, a felony, and also two misdemeanors: breach of peace in the second degree and criminal trespass in the first degree.

He received probation as part of an accelerated rehab program. Connecticut Superior Court Judge Peter McShane ruled on April 28 that he would be placed under supervision. The charges will be dropped if he completes a year of probation without committing a new crime, according to The Connecticut Post.

Gianna Marie Miranda, 18, one of the teens who was a target of Iannazzo’s outburst at the smoothie shop and the target of his racist comments, filed a civil complaint against him in Connecticut Superior Court on May 2, saying his actions caused her “harm both mentally and physically” and adding she was “under treatment as a result of this assault.”

She sought $300,000 in damages, Iannazzo spokesman Brian Glicklich said Thursday. He called the $7,500 settlement a “token payment.”

Timothy Aspinwall, Miranda’s lawyer, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Iannazzo “will always regret his momentary loss of temper at the time of his son’s medical emergency, and this outcome clearly shows the weakness of the case attempted against him,” Glicklich said.

Glicklich pointed out that Iannazzo had returned to the Robeks location “after his son was taken by ambulance to the hospital after a life threatening nut-based allergic reaction” to a smoothie he allegedly was sold at the store.

Iannazzo “returned to the store in an effort to find out what had been mistakenly put in the smoothie, which had been ordered nut-free. Told by an employee that they ‘didn’t know,’ he lost his temper briefly and set off the chain of events,” Glicklich added.

After being fired by Merrill Lynch, Iannazzo was hired by Aegis Capital in March to serve as a broker and registered representative, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website.

“Our company does not tolerate behavior of this kind,” Merrill spokesman Bill Halldin told ThinkAdvisor by email in January after the firm decided to fire Iannazzo. “We immediately investigated and have taken action,” he said noting, Iannazzo was “no longer employed at our firm.”

Iannazzo would have no longer qualified to be affiliated with a FINRA-registered firm if he was found guilty of the felony he was charged with.

(Pictured: James Iannazzo; Photo: Fairfield Police Department)


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.