Morgan Stanley discharged advisor Candido Viyella in 2020 “after allegations were made accusing him of participation in an outside investment involving clients for which the registered representative had a beneficial ownership interest.” He had been associated with Morgan Stanley for 11 years prior to the discharge.
Record of Candido Viyella
A peek into his broker report reveals that five customer claims have been filed against him between 2019 and 2020. The allegations refer to “outside business opportunities.” Only two of these appear to have been settled so far.
In October 2019 he was accused of misleading a Panamanian real estate company into making a $1 million investment in a luxury Florida hotel. This was reported in an article in Citywire in December 2020, citing a FINRA filing. What is interesting is that he apparently had a personal stake in the Fort Lauderdale-based Conrad Hotel and was aware of the financial difficulties being faced by it.
The real estate company has sought $1.5 million in restitution from Viyella and his employer at the time, Morgan Stanley.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has been investigating Viyella’s participation in private securities transactions and determining whether they were carried out with the requisite prior written information to the employer. On 10th May 2021, Viyella has been barred by FINRA from associating with any of its members. Viyella, it seems, failed to provide testimony in the investigation.
What is selling away?
Conduct of any business by a FINRA registered representative, independent of the brokerage firm they are registered with, can be called ‘selling away.’ There are guidelines for such transactions, the minimum expectation being the agreement of the employing firm. Brokers might look to such transactions to supplement their income through the brokerage house.
However, in case of a dispute regarding such an investment, the brokerage firm could still be liable to investors. This is usually the case if it can be demonstrated that the firm has been negligent in the supervision of the broker.
If you have had dealings with broker Candido Viyella and are concerned about the investments made, the securities attorneys at Haselkorn & Thibaut are available for a free consultation to guide you on your options.
Haselkorn & Thibaut is national investment fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection with offices in Florida, New York, Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina. We can be reached at 1-800-856-3352