The Department of Enforcement for FINRA accused a local man named James Iannazzo of financial fraud after intentionally organizing cash deposits and withdrawals in his personal and former job at Merrill Lynch. It was believed he did the act to avoid filing current transaction reports. The law requires these reports if the bank transactions exceed $10,000.
James Iannazzo first made traction when he became viral for his alleged racist tirade at a smoothie shop on TikTok in 2002.
James Iannazzo Accused of Financial Fraud
The 11-page complaint filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority by two litigators on June 23 claimed James Iannazzo made 71 deposits worth $568,440 in his two personal bank accounts. He also used his former employer’s account to withdraw and deposit $277,450 using an ATM to be under the $10,000 limit.
The documents obtained by CT Post showed that James Iannazzo made those transactions for almost seven years—from December 2014 to March 2021. According to reports, he used the money for a pool and a pool house building, which he paid cash to avoid sales tax.
James Iannazzo stopped these small withdrawals when FINRA asked for his banking history and documents. For violating FINRA’s rules, he’s set to be fined and sanctioned.
The Arrest of James Iannazzo
Merrill Lynch fired James Iannazzo from his job in 2022 following his arrest in the smoothie incident. He was charged with second-degree breach of peace, first-degree criminal trespass, and intimidation based on bigotry or bias.
James Iannazzo has remained under FINRA’s jurisdiction, considering he has been registed with the agency under a different firm since March of the said year.
FINRA works as a watchdog for investors and broker-dealer companies in the US. However, the organization’s rep has not commented on James Iannazzo’s case. Iannazzo’s attorney also hasn’t responded to the issue.