SSEK Investigating Centaurus Financial Brokers
Our brokerage firm misconduct lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) are representing investors who were sold structured certificates of deposits (CDs) by Centaurus Financial brokers Cindy Chiellini and Ricky Mantei.
Both work out of Lexington, South Carolina and are the subject of numerous complaints by customers, many of whom are based in Colorado and were sold these CDs. Now, the Colorado Division of Securities is considering pulling Centaurus’s license in that state over its alleged failure to properly supervise Mantei and Chiellini.
Structured Certificates Of Deposit
These market-linked CDs typically have 10 to 20-year terms or more. They are hard to liquidate without losing money and there are not many secondary markets for them.
Structured CDs also typically come with high front-end fees, a hefty early withdrawal penalty, can lead to bank charges for “accrued income” that the buyer has not yet received, exclude dividends, and may use complex return formulas.
Structured CDs are not for every investor, which is why brokerage firms must properly supervise their sales to make sure they are only sold to customers for whom they are suitable.
The Colorado Securities Division began its examination after receiving an “unusual number” of complaints involving Chiellini. Mantei is her supervisor. The probe was done to assess whether a “systemic” problem exists that could be placing Centaurus Financial customers at risk of financial harm. A hearing is scheduled for January 2020.
Broker Fraud Complaints
Cindy Chiellini’s BrokerCheck record shows over two dozen pending complaints by customers, many claiming at least $100K in damages.
Although she is still registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Chiellini is no longer a licensed broker in Colorado. With 35 years in the industry, she was previously a registered broker with:
- JP Turner
- Gunallen Financial
- First Allied Securities
- DE Frey & Co
- Merrill Lynch
- Pierce, Fenner & Smith
- Robinson Humphrey Company
Ricky Mantei’s BrokerCheck record shows 10 pending customer claims. He too is unlicensed in Colorado. With 36 years in the industry, Mantei also was previously a registered broker with JP Turner, Gunallen, First Allied Securities, DE Frey, and Merrill Lynch.
Centaurus Broker Claims
SSEK Law Firm is investigating both customer complaints against Mantei and Chiellini, as well as inadequate supervision claims against Centaurus. Please contact our broker fraud lawyers today so we can help you determine whether you have grounds for an investor claim.