Fort Lauderdale, Florida FINRA Arbitration Attorney, Russell L. Forkey, Esq.

Richard A. Garaventa (CRD #3101772, Associated Person, Dannemora, New York) was named as a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he misappropriated over $2.5 million from his member firm, firm customers and a firm counterparty for his own benefit. The complaint alleges that Garaventa entered, or caused to be entered, numerous false journal entries into his member firm’s electronic system to transfer and credit at least $59,349 of unreconciled customer funds approximately $120,395 from an SEC settlement fund intended for customers, approximately $1,786,052 from different firm sources, including the firm’s fee and foreign exchange accounts, leftover balances from corporate actions and accumulated ADR fees, commingled with funds from other sources, approximately $320,422 of a $1,000,000 overpayment by a firm counterparty, and $228,301 from other under determined sources by entering numerous false journal entries into the firm’s electronic system to transfer those funds to other suspense accounts that he was using to misappropriate funds. The complaint further alleges that Garaventa then entered or caused to be entered into the firm’s electronic system check requests to be issued to a shell corporation he created against the accounts he was using to misappropriate funds by having firm employees who reported to him enter check requests on his behalf, which Garaventa later approved and by using the identification number and password of another firm employee who reported to him to enter check requests. The complaint further alleges that, as a result of Garaventa’s false journal entries and check requests, his firm’s books and records were falsified. In addition, the complaint alleges that Garaventa failed to respond to FINRA requests for information. (FINRA Case #2009017072301)

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