NEW YORK, — The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced today that former Royal Alliance Associates broker, Gary Basralian, was arrested and taken into custody. Fitapelli Kurta currently represents three victims of Gary Basralian and these former Royal Alliance Associates clients are listed as “Victim 1” and “Victim 2” in the criminal complaint against Mr. Basralian.
In December, 2017, Fitapelli Kurta filed a complaint before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, concerning the misappropriation of millions of dollars by Royal Alliance Associates broker Gary Basralian. According to Fitapelli Kurta partner, Jonathan Kurta, our law firm’s investigation was the impetus for the criminal complaint. When Fitapelli Kurta was first made aware of the serious allegations against Mr. Basralian and Royal Alliance, in December 2017, it immediately reported the crimes to the FBI and the DOJ, who acted expeditiously in bringing Basralian to justice.
Basralian carefully chose his victims. The terrible part of this story is that Mr. Basralian’s victims were all, for the most part, elderly widows with physical and mental handicaps. He intentionally preyed on his most vulnerable clients, making his actions all the more despicable, according to attorney Jonathan Kurta. Basralian’s vulnerable victims now have a strong voice, through attorney Jonathan Kurta, who will aggressively prosecute cases against him and Royal Alliance until his clients receive justice.
Mr. Basralian’s crimes, which spanned over a decade, were perpetrated against his Royal Alliance clients in some cases by simply stealing directly from their brokerage accounts. According to the allegations filed by Fitapelli Kurta in FINRA, Royal Alliance’s extremely laxed supervisory structure and poor anti-money laundering compliance, facilitated Basralian’s fraud. Royal Alliance made it possible for Basralian to perpetrate this fraud, the clients argue in the complaint. The complaint alleges that the years of theft was brazen and could have easily been prevented by Royal Alliance.
The news of Gary Basralian’s arrest is bittersweet for Mr. Basralian’s clients, none of whom have been reimbursed by Royal Alliance for his theft. According to Jonathan Kurta, Royal Alliance has not offered to compensate any of Fitapelli Kurta’s clients for their losses and is actively defending the arbitrations filed against them. We are deeply disappointed, but certainly not surprised, by how litigious Royal Alliance has been. Certainly, someone from Royal Alliance could have apologized or even asked how these elderly victims, some of whom struggling financially and mentally, are doing. They did not even do that.
In addition to refusing to apologize to or compensate its customers, to date, Royal Alliance has made every effort to conceal the facts surrounding Basralian’s theft, even from its clients who were victims. For example, when Fitapelli Kurta alerted Royal Alliance to Basralian’s crimes, he was not terminated. Instead he “resigned” and letters were sent to his victims informing them that their accounts would be serviced by a new financial advisor. The letters from Royal Alliance never mentioned that Basralian was under criminal investigation or that he was stealing from customers.
In addition to ensuring that these clients are adequately compensated, there needs to be meaningful changes at Royal Alliance. Royal Alliance has a history, which spans decades, of allegations regarding financial advisors stealing from customers. Just as we worked with the FBI to bring Basralian to justice, we will work with the Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA to bring meaningful changes to Royal Alliance. This fraud cannot and should not happen at any financial institution. It is unacceptable and we will do everything we can to ensure it never happens again, explains Jonathan Kurta.
If you would like to know more about this case, please contact Jonathan Kurta at 212-658-1502 or [email protected]