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Wedbush Securities Broker Permanently Barred by FINRA for Conversion of Elderly Customer’s Funds

Michael B. Winegar, a former General Securities Representative with Los Angeles, California-based Wedbush Securities, Inc. (Wedbush) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was permanently barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). According to FINRA, Michael Winegar, of Salem, Oregon, converted $100,000 from an elderly customer and used the money to repay his family and personal debts and trade securities.

According to FINRA, Mr. Winegar enticed an 85-year-old elderly customer into paying him $100,000. Mr. Winegar allegedly told the customer that he intended to use the money to establish an independent investment advisory firm and would supposedly pay back the $100,000 debt by providing the customer with free investment advice for the next four years. FINRA found that soon after Mr. Winegar had received the $100,000, he did not establish an independent advisory firm but instead sold his securities business to another Wedbush registered representative and left the securities industry. Part of the sale involved Mr. Winegar entering into a non-compete agreement that prevented him from providing the elderly customer the investment advice that he had intended to provide in order to obtain the money for the business.

Without admitting or denying FINRAs findings, Michael Bruce Winegar was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Conversion is the unlawful practice of using, or converting, money that does not belong to you for a purpose for which it is not supposed to be used (e.g. for personal use or benefit). Conversion is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010, which relates to commercial honor and principles of trade.

Stockbrokers, registered representatives, and other financial industry professionals have been known to engage in many types of fraudulent and unlawful behavior, such as conversion of funds, which violate industry rules and procedures. In order to protect investors from such misconduct, FINRA rules require broker-dealers to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system. The implementation of the rules requires supervisors to monitor employees to ensure they comply with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, as well as the brokerage firm’s own policies and procedures. If broker-dealers and their supervisors do not establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to account holders for losses flowing from the misconduct. As a result, account holders who have suffered losses stemming from a broker or registered representative’s fraudulent and unlawful misconduct can bring forth claims to recover damages against broker-dealers, like Wedbush Securities, which have a duty to supervise its employees in order to prevent these types of stockbroker misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Wedbush Securities investment account due to your registered representative or stockbroker’s fraudulent and/or unlawful misconduct? 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 financial professionals for unsuitable recommendations, conversion of funds, mismanagement of accounts, and/or other unauthorized and illegal conduct.

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 post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, send Mr. Pearce an email at pearce@rwpearce.com, and/or visit our website at www.secatty.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.