Boots Asensio's Brokerage
(click for details)
First Fraud Verdict Against Asensio
A. A client of Asensio when he worked at a brokerage firm called
Steinberg and Lyman. Murphy filed a lawsuit against them in 1988.
A. Yes. In 1989, a jury in Martin County, Florida, found in favor of Murphy. Asensio was ordered to pay Murphy $248,250 for fraud and deceit. (Click here for the actual court documents [200 KB], which are somewhat difficult to read.)
Q. Did the verdict affect Asensio's license to work in the brokerage industry?
A. Apparently not. Four years later, he obtained a higher-level license as a broker-dealer and opened Asensio & Company.
Q. Is it unusual to be licensed as a broker-dealer after a fraud verdict as large as this one?
A. One would think so. The site has not been able to determine whether precedent actually exists to grant a license under such circumstances.
Q. Might NASD have been unaware of the verdict when it granted the broker-dealer license?
A. Public Disclosure files on brokers and brokerage firms are available that disclose disciplinary events, verdicts, bankruptcies, and the like. Neither of Asensio's files mentions the verdict.
It's possible that Asensio reported the verdict as required, but was able to get it removed from his NASD file after convincing a judge to set the verdict aside. In 1998, Asensio obtained a court order setting the verdict aside because the process server who delivered the lawsuit to him ten years earlier was not properly licensed.
However, it's unclear that NASD would recognize a technicality such as this as sufficient grounds to expunge a fraud verdict from the public disclosure file.
Simply stated, the other possibility is that Asensio concealed the verdict on his broker-dealer application. He does deny the lawsuit elsewhere. For example, a sworn affidavit [480 KB] signed in 2001 asserts that he has never had a customer complaint at any time in his career (paragraph #3 of affidavit).
Article 3, Section 4 of the NASD By-Laws states:
The By-laws also provide that:
These provisions are known as statutory disqualification. The NASD website provides a readable explanation of this process.
Update, March 31, 2003
The site has obtained Asensio's application for a broker-dealer license, which was filed four years after the Murphy verdict. It shows he answered no when asked if a court had ever ruled against him on an investment-related matter.
Update, January,25, 2005
Page Created 11/30/02 • Updated 3/31/03 • 1/25/05