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Former Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Broker Barred by FINRA for Financial Abuse of an Elderly Customer

Former Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Morgan Stanley) and UBS Financial Services, Inc. (UBS) broker John Anthony Waszolek, of Scottsdale, Arizona, submitted an Offer of Settlement in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he took unfair financial advantage of an 81-year-old customer who had twice been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and suffered from dementia and memory loss.

According to FINRA, John Waszolek (Waszolek) was informed by an estate planning attorney that she would not amend the elderly client’s trust to make Waszolek a beneficiary because it had been determined that the client lacked sufficient testamentary capacity. However, through a separate attorney, Maszolek gained appointment as successor trustee and residual beneficiary of the client’s trust. Upon the elderly client’s death, FINRA found that Waszolek attempted to inherit more than $1.8 million from the estate.

FINRA’s findings state that Waszolek failed to disclose to both UBS and Morgan Stanley that he had been appointed as a beneficiary to his customer’s trust or that he had received a healthcare power of attorney over the elderly client. Additionally, Waszolek neglected to obtain either UBS or Morgan Stanley’s approval to act in a fiduciary capacity to his client. Consequently, John Waszolek was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Senior investors are oftentimes the targets of unscrupulous brokers, investment advisors, and insurance agents. This is due in part to the fact that as we age, our ability to understand newer and complex investments diminishes. Therefore, senior retirement savings are ripe for the picking and an epidemic of fraud is underway all across America.

Broker-dealers have a duty to protect senior investors from broker misconduct by establishing and implementing an adequate supervisory system to oversee sales practices. If broker-dealers do not so, they may be liable to senior investors for damages flowing from an unreasonable recommendation and sale. Are you a senior investor suffering losses in your Morgan Stanley or UBS Financial account due to an unreasonable recommendation and sale by your broker? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial stockbrokers who may have engaged in misconduct and caused investors losses.

The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 35 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our website, www.secatty.com, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at pearce@rwpearce.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.