Merrill Lynch Advisor: A Robeks smoothie shop customer was charged by the police and sacked from his job as a Merrill Lynch wealth advisor after his outburst against employees went viral.
On Saturday, James Iannazzo ordered a smoothie for his peanut-allergic son from a Robeks location in Connecticut. The Fairfield Police Department requested that the drink not contain peanut butter, but he did not explain his allergy.
Merrill Lynch Advisor
In the video, he demands that three staff tell him who produced the drink, but they reply they are unsure and should file a complaint with the franchise’s corporate office. Iannazzo hurls obscenities at the staff, calling them “f****** foolish, f****** uneducated high school kids,” as the confrontation soon develops.
Iannazzo then throws a drink at one of them, striking her in the shoulder and forcing a coworker to dial 911. (Police report that the employee was unharmed.)
When the employee insists that he leave, he yells at her and calls her a “f****** foreign loser.” The footage then shows him attempting unsuccessfully to enter a door leading to an area of the shop reserved for employees only.
Iannazzo fled the area before officers arrived and eventually surrendered himself in according to investigators.
As of Sunday afternoon, a video of the altercation had been viewed over half a million times on Twitter.
Iannazzo was fired, according to Merrill Lynch spokesperson Bill Halldin, who talked to Newsweek on Sunday.
“This type of behavior is not tolerated at our workplace. We investigated right away and took action. Our company no longer employs this person. “According to the statement.
Frank J. Riccio, Iannazzo’s attorney, said in a statement that he “emphasized to the employees” that the smoothie must not contain peanuts, which the receipt reflects.
“His youngster has a severe peanut allergy that puts his life in jeopardy. His son developed a serious allergic response after drinking the Robeks smoothie, necessitating ambulance evacuation to the hospital,
“According to the statement. “Mr. Iannazzo’s maternal instincts came in when he was faced with a dire circumstance, and he acted out of wrath and terror. He is not a racist and regrets his words and deeds, which he made in a fit of rage.”
Authorities charged him with second-degree intimidation based on bigotry or bias, second-degree breach of peace, and first-degree criminal trespass. On February 7, he is scheduled to appear in court.
In a statement to Newsweek, Robeks spokesperson Barbara Caruso said: “Our top focus at Robeks is to keep both store employees and customers safe.
We are grateful that the franchisee’s team members were not physically hurt because the company and its franchisees have a zero-tolerance policy for this type of behavior.
We applaud law enforcement and the justice system for moving quickly to pursue criminal charges for this heinous activity.”
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Iannazzo is still listed as employed, and he has one denied complaint since April 2015.
Iannazzo was named one of the top 25 in-state financial advisors by Forbes in 2021. Over the past 26 years, he has worked for Merrill Lynch.
Morgan Simon, the co-founder of Candide Group and author of Real Impact: The New Economics of Social Change, stated, “It’s nice to see financial institutions taking clear, decisive action in reaction to such vile, racist, and misogynist behavior.”
“And, in the long run, it’s critical to confront the fact that racism is a disease in finance, period, with firms owned by women or people of colour managing fewer than 2% of global assets.”