Joseph R. Butler, a former Registered Representative with Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. (Woodbury Financial) was permanently barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for taking advantage of an elderly, dementia suffering customer’s bank accounts, converting her money for his own use, and naming himself as her annuity’s beneficiary, falsely representing that he was her son.
In its investigation, FINRA states that Mr. Butler admitted that his 75 year old, widowed customer who suffered from dementia was dependent on him and trusted him to take care of her. Mr. Butler was added to the elderly customer’s accounts after observing that her mental faculties were declining. It was then that Mr. Butler began withdrawing money from her accounts. According to FINRA’s findings, between September 2009 and December 2010, Mr. Butler wrote nine checks from his customer’s accounts totaling $105,646.158. Eight of the nine checks were made payable to himself or cash, and the ninth check he used to pay his Federal income taxes. FINRA goes on to state that Mr. Butler arranged to have the customer’s account statements delivered to his home address rather than hers and, in the same month, wired $5,000 from her accounts to his own, claiming that it was a “test,” according to FINRA. Further, Mr. Butler sent a change request form for his customer’s $453,000 annuity in which he removed the granddaughters as beneficiaries and named himself, falsely representing on the form that his relationship to the customer was “son.” Continue Reading