Articles Tagged with Wedbush Securities

shutterstock_120556300-300x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in January 2018, advisor Larry Boggs (Boggs) was barred indefinitely from the financial industry by FINRA concerning allegations that he engaged in unsuitable investments, excessive trading and unauthorized transactions. According to FINRA, Boggs exercised discretion in customer accounts without written approval from customers or the firm. Boggs would also allegedly falsely state the investment objectives and risk tolerance of customers in the firm’s books so that customers would conform to his high-frequency trading strategy.

FINRA found that in June 2010, Boggs updated the risk tolerance in 4 investment portfolios from Moderate to Moderate/Aggressive, and changed 2 investment portfolio objectives to Aggressive.  FINRA determined that the high-frequency trading strategy was unsuitable to his customer’s needs and did not match the customer’s investment portfolio objectives. By changing Ameriprise’s books and records, Boggs violated FINRA Rules 4511 and 2010.

In addition, in May 2015, Boggs’ employer, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise Financial) discharged Boggs alleging that Boggs violated the company’s discretionary trading and suitability policies.

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.

shutterstock_176319773This post continues our examination of the numerous regulatory actions against Wedbush Securities, Inc. (Wedbush) for its failure to supervise the activities of its employees and the recent National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) decision affirming the FINRA hearing decision.

What were the failures to report that were claimed by FINRA? In one instance, a client faxed a letter to Wedbush alleging that his broker had committed unauthorized trades but Wedbush did not report the complaint until January 2010, 275 days later. At hearing Wedbush conceded that the complaint was not timely reported but disputed their responsibility for the late reporting because a firm office manager failed to forward the letter to the business conduct department after concluding that the letter wasn’t a customer complaint. FINRA found though that the office manager’s failure does not excuse the late filing or the firm’s responsibility for the late filing.

In addition, the firm had argued that Mr. Wedbush was not liable for failure to supervise because he was more of a manager than a supervisory. Again, FINRA disagreed stating that as president he was ultimately responsible for the misconduct.

shutterstock_175320083This post continues our examination of the numerous regulatory actions against Wedbush Securities, Inc. (Wedbush) for its failure to supervise the activities of its employees in various respects.

In November 2014, the SEC’s case was settled with Wedbush and two of its top officials have for market access violations. Wedbush settled by admitting wrongdoing in its actions, paying a $2.44 million penalty, and retaining an independent consultant. Wedbush’s former executive vice president Jeffrey Bell (Bell) and senior vice president Christina Fillhart (Fillhart) settled without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings. Bell and Fillhart agreed to pay a combined total of more than $85,000 in disgorgement and penalties. The SEC order found that Wedbush had inadequate risk controls in place before providing customers with access to the market including some anonymous overseas traders.

In a statement, Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC Enforcement Division stated that “Wedbush acknowledges that it granted access to thousands of overseas traders without having appropriate safeguards in place.”

shutterstock_160390625In a slew of regulatory actions, Wedbush Securities, Inc. (Wedbush) has the firm under fire for its failure to supervise the activities of its employees in various respects. These complaints were recently capped off with an affirmation by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) appeals body, the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC), decision imposing more than $300,000 in fines and a month-long suspension of top executives for failures in their reporting duties. Decision Here.

Wedbush is a brokerage and investment banking firm founded by Edward Wedbush (Mr. Wedbush) and another individual in 1955. Wedbush registered with the NASD in 1955 and NYSE in the early 1970s. At present the firm employs approximately 900 employees. Mr. Wedbush joined the securities industry in 1955 when he formed the firm and has been registered as a general securities principal and representative since the firm’s inception.

A company’s culture is set at by those at the top running the company. And judging by the recent decision, Wedbush’s supervisory culture calls into question the handling of its client’s assets. The recent regulatory woes and saga first started on October 4, 2010, when FINRA’s Department of Enforcement filed a five-cause complaint alleging that during various periods between January 2005, and July 2010, Wedbush failed to properly report 81 disclosable events resulting in 38 Form RE-3 reporting violations, 113 Form U4 and U5 violations, and nine statistical reporting violations concerning customer complaints. FINRA also alleged that the firm and Mr. Wedbush failed to supervise the firm’s regulatory reporting.