The Financial Industry Regulatory Agency suspended the registration of Aaron Kazinec, a Fort Lauderdale broker most recently registered with MetLife Securities, Inc., the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company’s securities broker-dealer arm.
Kazinec was associated with MetLife from 2007 to 2012. He was previously associated with MML Investors Services, Inc., the broker-dealer arm of Mass Mutual, from 1998 to early 2007. Before that, he was associated with Pruco Securities Corporation in Newark, New Jersey, from 1994 to 1998.
There have been 13 customer complaints against Kazinec over the years, and three cases are still pending.
MetLife terminated Kazinec in December 2012 after discovering that he had been accepting checks without payee information from his customers. He then deposited those checks in personal accounts, the FINRA disciplinary complaint states.
FINRA alleges that Kazinec misappropriated funds from at least four of his customers between May 2009 and August 2012, telling them to write checks payable to “cash” and leading them to think that he would use the money to make investments for them. Instead, he used $745,250 of his clients’ money for his own benefit.
Kazinec also failed to properly disclose a tax lien of approximately $22,000 to FINRA.
Kazinec is now banned from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity. He accepted FINRA’s proscribed sanctions without admitting or denying FINRA’s allegations.
MetLife had a duty to supervise Kazinec. Specifically, MetLife had a duty to enforce a supervisory system reasonably calculated to ensure that Kazinec acted in compliance with all applicable industry rules and regulations and to ensure that Kazinec did not engage in any illicit outside business activities. It appears that MetLife failed in this respect.
It is possible for Kazinec’s victims to recover investment losses by pursing claims against MetLife for the company’s negligence in supervising Kazinec.
Investors who worked with Kazinec are encouraged to contact Blau & Malmfeldt at 312-443-1600 to discuss possible recovery options. Blau & Malmfeldt is a law firm that represents investors across the United States in securities, commodity futures, partnership and shareholder rights disputes.