Merrill Lynch fired a wealth advisor after a video was circulated on social media showing him berating teenage employees in an anti-immigrant rant inside a Connecticut smoothie shop on Saturday.
James Iannazzo had been a wealth advisor with Merrill Lynch for about 26 years. In 2021, Forbes ranked him one of the 25 best in-state wealth advisors.
Fairfield, Conn., police charged him with intimidation based on bigotry or bias, breach of peace and criminal trespass. He was ordered to appear in Bridgeport Superior Court on Feb. 7.
Police said Iannazzo made a purchase at the shop without incident. But about a half-hour later, he called 911 requesting an ambulance to come to his home to treat his son, who was suffering from an allergic reaction to peanuts.
After the ambulance took his son to the hospital, Iannazzo returned to the smoothie shop, where he confronted the employees working behind the counter and demanded to know who had made a smoothie with peanuts in it.
During the confrontation, police said, Iannazzo threw a drink at one of the employees, which hit them in the shoulder. Police said he also shouted a number of expletives at the employees and made insults about their immigrant status.