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Citigroup wins $889K arbitration award against former broker

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A broker who was discharged from Citigroup Global Markets last year was ordered to pay his former employer the near $900,000 outstanding balance on the promissory notes he signed when he joined the firm, according to a FINRA arbitrator's recent ruling.

James Acosta, a broker with Citigroup in New York, breached two promissory notes, which had balances of $544,000 and $345,000, the arbitrator found.
Acosta could not be reached for comment. He did not appear for the arbitration proceeding, according to FINRA.

Acosta worked for Citigroup from September 2013 until he was discharged in June 2016 for representations he allegedly made regarding activity in his personal bank account, BrokerCheck records show. Acosta's BrokerCheck report also notes that he was under review regarding outside business activities and a request he made to another registered rep, who was a relative, to sign his name on certain documents.

Acosta was suspended indefinitely from the industry in November for failing to satisfactorily respond to a FINRA request to provide information concerning the status of compliance, according to his BrokerCheck report.

In addition to being liable for $889,417 in compensatory damages plus interest at an annual rate of 1.66%, Acosta was ordered to pay Citigroup's attorneys' fees in the amount of $16,166 as well as Citigroup's $300 paper decision fee.

The FINRA arbitrator's decision was rendered late May.

Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a spokeswoman for Citigroup, said the bank declined to comment on the matter.

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