Community Banking Conference Vetting Censured, Fined Former CBOE Broker Michael Dalesandro, RockitCoin CEO, As Speaker

News | October 9, 2017 By:

A former broker who was censured and fined by the Chicago Board Options Exchange was under consideration to speak this month at a community bank risk management conference.

Secura Risk Management is hosting a “Fall Payments and Fraud Roundtable” Oct. 18-20 at Jekyll Island, GA, a conference for small regional and community banks of the southeast, mostly focused on Georgia. Michael Dalesandro had been promoted to potential attendees as a speaker giving a presentation on bitcoin ATMs,, according to a person expecting to attend the event.

Dalesandro is Founder and CEO of RockItCoin, a bitcoin ATM company. He was accused of accosting a female trader and a CBOE official in the past.

The sponsors of the conference said no decision on speakers at the conference has been announced. Asked if knowledge of Dalesandro’s censure, fine and underlying incident may affect any decisions on speaking at the conference, one of the Secura principals indicated that it could.

“I was not aware of this and, yes, this would impact him speaking at this conference,” said Terri Sands, the founder of Secura Risk Management, upon learning of Dalesandro’s complaint and his anticipated appearance at her event. “This was a tentative session at this point and the ‘“speaker’” has not been announced.” Sands added that any potential speaker and company were “still being vetted.”

BACKGROUND

In the CBOE filing on the matter, the papers alleged that a confrontation ensued on Nov. 13, 2001 at the HWP market. Dalesandro allegedly argued with another market-maker involving their disagreement about the proper evaluation of a delta neutral spread transaction involving Nokia (“NAY”) Dec 25 calls versus stock.

In the course of the confrontation, Dalesandro allegedly directed disruptive and profane remarks toward the other market-maker, allegedly advanced toward her, and allegedly had to be physically restrained from reaching her.

Later that day, a discussion of the incident with CBOE officials allegedly led to Dalesandro making physical contact with one of the floor officials, according to the complaint.

The Business Conduct Committee of the CBOE found that those actions were inconsistent with the just and equitable principles of trade, the maintenance of a fair and orderly market, the ordinary and efficient conduct of business, and the safety and welfare of other persons.

Dalesandro was fined $5,000, censured, and had a one-week suspension of Exchange membership and any association during that period with any exchange member.

In accepting the Offer of Settlement, the Committee considered the fact that Dalesandro was also fined approximately $9,000 in floor decorum fines in connection with the conduct described above; attended an anger management program; and wrote letters of apology to each of the floor officials involved in the incident.

Dalesandro accepted an offer of settlement on his 2003 CBOE complaint without admitting or denying the allegations.

Suzanne Cosgrove, Director of Communications at the CBOE, said it is not CBOE’s policy to comment on individual disciplinary actions. Information on the 2003 incident is posted on the CBOE web site, and shows that Dalesandro’s complaint was one of only 42 made that year. For perspective, there were 66 complaints listed by CBOE for 2016, the last full year, and 39 so far in 2017.

Dalesandro did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Disclosure: BlockTribune’s Publisher has a minority, non-controlling interest in companies that sell bitcoin at retail locations including at bitcoin ATMs, and advises multiple bitcoin ATM operators, but not RockitCoin.)