Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) BrokerCheck reports that previously registered broker Michael August Pellegrino faced sanctions presented by FINRA and is also the subject of multiple customer disputes.
Reportedly, FINRA initiated action against Pellegrino that resulted in civil and administrative penalties/fines of $10,000, as well as a two-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity. The sanctions stemmed from findings that Pellegrino distributed to retail investors a retail communication promoting investment in a short-term, high-yield contract. The communication allegedly omitted material information and contained misleading statements and improper projections of the product’s future performance.
According to BrokerCheck, Pellegrino pooled and distributed investor funds to small businesses as a merchant cash advance, leaving investors to believe that they would receive returns based on a percentage of the merchants’ future revenues.
Projections for returns on the investment ranged between six and 10 percent, and the language in the broker’s communication consistently described the investment with words like “predictable,” “consistent,” and “high yield contract.” The misleading communication failed to hold Pellegrino contractually obligated to distribute any investment returns. Furthermore, the communication suggested the investment was backed by collateral and was risk averse, misleading investors by omitting important risks and features of the investment, including the fact that investors could completely lose their principal and that the investment was automatically renewed and illiquid.
Pellegrino settled the matter by submitting a letter of Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (FINRA case no. 2017055120903). The suspension endured from February 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021.
Customer Disputes Linked With TCM Securities, Inc.
In March 2020, a customer of Pellegrino alleged the broker had caused him to sustain financial damages in the amount of $100,000. Pellegrino reportedly worked with TCM Securities at the time of the alleged misconduct, which, according to BrokerCheck, included:
- Unsuitable investment recommendations
- Negligent misrepresentation
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Negligent failure to supervise
- Fraudulent concealment
This matter (FINRA Case Number 19-01781), resulted in an award of $75,000 to the claimant.
Other Disputes Involve Non-Traded REITs
Starting in 2015, several customers filed complaints alleging that Pellegrino caused them to sustain financial losses by facilitating the sale of speculative, non-traded real estate investment trusts (non-traded REITs). According to BrokerCheck, the broker was employed by TCM Securities at the time of the alleged activities.
Alleged damages in these disputes have ranged widely, with the highest alleged damages totalling $150,000.
If Pellegrino Caused You to Sustain Financial Loss, We Want to Help
Six customer disputes involving Pellegrino remain pending. Our firm believes that other customers may also have suffered losses at this broker’s hands, and we want to help them recover their damages.
If Michael August Pellegrino was your broker, and you have reason to believe that he acted in a way that caused you suffer financial loss, the Securities and Business Litigation team at Levin, Papantonio, Rafferty, Proctor, Buchanan, O’Brien, Barr & Mougey, P.A. review your case, help you understand your options, and fight on your behalf to recover damages. We charge you attorney’s fees only if we recover for you.
What Our Clients Say
Below are some of the emails and letters that our clients have sent us.
At a time in our life when we were most vulnerable we lost control of our finances. We fell victim to a broker that took huge commissions and did not disclose that we were not able to access our money. Peter Mougey and his wonderful staff worked with us to make us whole again and got our money released. I cannot say enough about their work ethic, professionalism, and kindness during this stressful time for us. We had a 100% positive conclusion to our case and we strongly recommend Peter and the firm. We can now sleep at night! Fred & Pat H.
My husband and I were very pleased with the work that Peter and his team provided. He was very knowledgeable of the circumstances of our case and kept us informed throughout the process. He is extremely qualified and worked diligently on our behalf. We are positive that this case would not have been resolved in our favor had it not been for Peter's expertise and his passion. He definitely cares about his clients and we sincerely appreciate his efforts. Rachel C.
FRS is a governmental body. FRS retained the services of Peter Mougey of the LP law firm in a multimillion dollar lawsuit involving extremely complex issues. Mr. Mougey quickly mastered the issues and gave advice that was vital in bringing about a successful resolution. Two of the most important features of Mr. Mougey’s representation was his understanding of government and his ability to communicate complicated legal concepts to a 10-member board of trustees in language that was easily understood by all. I did not know Mr. Mougey before FRS retained him and, fortunately, have not experienced circumstances where the system would need his services again. However, if needed, I would have no hesitation in retaining his services again. Please let me know if you need any additional information or assistance. Steven S.
Edison's famous adage can't ever be ignored of course: 1 part inspiration and 99 parts perspiration. However the two attitudes must be present indissolubly--both are essential--if results are to be obtained. Peter Mougey’s group is aware of such a requirement, they work very hard at the latter, and the former comes easily to them, a rare combination anywhere to be found indeed. Raphael B.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Peter Mougey and your entire team on behalf of my family for the amazing job done during your representation. From day one I received kindness, rapid responses to all of my questions, with polite and patient encounters with all of your staff assistants. You are the best- and I will be eternally grateful to you and your entire team. Michelle E.