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Former Wedbush Securities Financial Advisor, William Heiden, Is The Subject Of A FINRA Enforcement Action

The Wolper Law Firm is currently investigating claims against William Heiden, a former Financial Adviser at Wedbush Securitries in Newport Beach, CA.  William Heiden has been in the securities industry since 1997 and previously worked at Morgan Stanley.  

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on January 17, 2019, FINRA commenced an enforcement action against William Heiden, alleging:

“Heiden was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he engaged in unauthorized trading in the accounts of two elderly customers, without first obtaining these elderly customers’ authorizations, as required. The complaint alleges that following repeated requests by one of the customers’ daughter, Heiden cancelled the three unauthorized trades he made in the customer’s account. Also, unauthorized trades made by Heiden in the other elderly customer’s accounts resulted in losses (including commissions and fees) in excess of $10,000. The complaint also alleges that Heiden exercised discretion in the accounts of two other elderly customers without first receiving written authorization from the customers and without acceptance of the accounts as discretionary by his member firm via obtaining written approval.”

For a full copy of the FINRA Complaint, click http://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/fda_documents/2017053182001%20William%20Mark%20Heiden%20CRD%202885156%20Complaint%20va.pdf

In addition, William Heiden has fourteen customer complaints filed against him during his career, including thirteen since 2015, alleging sales practice violations.  Among the complaints include: 

  • October 2018— The complaint includes claims for Wrongful Conduct, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Constructive Fraud, Fraud by Misrepresentation and Omission, Breach of Written Contract and Violation of State and Federal Securities Laws, FINRA Rules of Fair Practice and NYSE Rules.”  The alleged damages are $4.2 million and the matter remains pending.
  • September 14, 2018—”Breaches of Fiduciary duties, negligence, abuse of margin and concentration, based on recommendation of unauthorized and unsuitable investments. Alleged damages are $200,000 and the matter remains pending. 
  • July 2018—”CHURNING, UNSUITABLE INVESTMENTS RECOMMENDATIONS & ELDER ABUSE.”  Alleged damages are %581,454 and the matter remains pending.
  • February 2018—”Claimant alleged omissions, breaches of fiduciary duties and fraud based on recommendation of unsuitable investments and unauthorized trades”  The matter was settled for $150,000.
  • June 2017—”The following Causes of Action listed in the Statement of Claim are as follows: Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Violation of Industry Rules and Financial Elder Abuse. Claimant’s accounts were maintained at the firm from September 213 to April 2017.”  The matter was settled for $365,951.

Other customer complaints were settled between 2015-2016 for more than $2.5 million. 

For a copy of the William Heiden’s CRD, click https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/2885156#disclosuresSection.

Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients.  To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.  

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis.  Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities.  Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters.  We can be reached at 800.931.8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

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