Ex-LPL ‘Top’ Producer Barred for Third Time
A former LPL Financial broker who had been one of the firm’s top producers before he was accused of fraudulent annuity sales has agreed to a third industry bar, this time from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC on Friday imposed the lifelong ban on Roger Zullo of Newton, Mass., citing the same activities that the state’s securities regulator and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority earlier challenged in separate rulings that barred him from associating with any securities firm.
The state ordered him to disgorge almost $1.9 million in commissions and pay a $40,000 fine and Finra last July imposed its bar for failing to cooperate in its investigation. LPL, which fired Zullo in December 2016, agreed last year to pay $3.7 million for its failure to properly supervise Zullo.
In its December 2016 complaint, Massachusetts alleged that the former LPL Chairman’s Club member falsified financial suitability profiles of customers over three years so they would qualify for variable annuity transactions. While pocketing $1.8 million in commissions, his churning cost his customers tens of thousands of dollars in surrender costs, the state said.
Zullo, who the SEC’s administrative order said is 59, could not be reached for comment . Stephen M. Larose, a lawyer at Nixon Peabody who represented him in the Finra litigation, did not immediately return a call for comment.
The product that Zullo pushed in 98% of the sales cited by regulators was the Polaris Platinum III B-share variable annuity sponsored by AIG.