William Heiden Accused of Concentrating Customers in Oil & Gas Investments

shutterstock_143094109-300x200According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor William Heiden (Heiden), employed by Wedbush Securities Inc. (Wedbush), has been subject to nine customer complaints.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Heiden has been accused by a customers of unsuitable investment advice concerning various investment products including energy stocks including master limited partnerships (MLPs).  The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP continue to report on investor related losses and potential legal remedies due to recommendations to investor in oil and gas and commodities related investments.

The most recent claim was filed in June 2017 and alleges that Heiden, breach his fiduciary duty, committed violation of industry rules, and financial elder abuse causing $855,299.  The customer’s accounts were maintained at the firm from September 2013 to April 2017.  The claim is currently pending.  The broker has stated in defense of the claim that market conditions and the collapse of oil prices in 2014 and 2015, resulted in a loss of value of some stock and bond positions in the customer’s account.

In January 2017 a customer alleged that Heiden, that from March 2012 to February 2016, made unsuitable investments in the client accounts causing $950,718 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

Our firm handles claims and is also investigating securities claims against brokerage firms over sales practices related to the recommendations of oil & gas and commodities products such as exchange traded notes (ETNs), structured notes, private placements, master limited partnerships (MLPs), leveraged ETFs, mutual funds, and individual stocks.

Before recommending investments in oil and gas and commodities related investments, brokers and advisors must ensure that the investment is appropriate for the investor and conduct due diligence on the company in order to understand the risks and prospects of the company.  Oil and gas and commodities related investments have been recommended by brokers under the assumption that commodities prices would continue to go up.  However, brokers who sell oil and gas and commodities products are obligated to understand the risks of these investments and convey them to clients.

The number of complaints against Heiden are unusual compared to his peers.  According to newsources, only about 7.3% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records among brokers employed from 2005 to 2015.  Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their CRD customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, and even criminal matters.  However, studies have found that there are fraud hotspots such as certain parts of California, New York or Florida, where the rates of disclosure can reach 18% or higher.  Moreover, according to the New York Times, BrokerCheck may be becoming increasing inaccurate and understate broker misconduct as studies have shown that 96.9% of broker requests to clean their records of complaints are granted.

Heiden entered the securities industry in 1987.  From June 2009 until August 2013 Heiden was associated with Morgan Stanley.  Currently, since August 2013 Heiden has been associated with Wedbush out of the firm’s Newport Beach, California office location.

At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts.  Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA.  Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.