Former Wedbush Securities Inc. Broker William Heiden Faces $1 Million-Plus Customer Complaint

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Did you suffer losses due to investments with former Wedbush Securities Inc. broker William Heiden (CRD# 2885156)? Heiden was registered with Wedbush Securities Inc. in Newport Beach, California from 2013 to 2018.

In January 2018, FINRA named Heiden as a respondent in a 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.” The losses in the customer’s account are allegedly more than $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.”

In March 2018, FINRA opened an investigation into Heiden regarding, “unauthorized trading in violation of FINRA rule 2010.”

Heiden has been the subject of 15 customer complaints between 2000 and 2019, according to his CRD report. Recent complaints are regarding:

  • April 2019. “Breach of Fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, fraud by misrepresentation, unauthorized trading &/or exercise of discretion without written authorization, elder financial abuse and violation of State and Federal Securities Laws.” The customer is seeking $1,195,000 in this pending customer complaint.
  • 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 customer is seeking $4.2 million in damages and the case is currently pending.
  • September 2018. “Breaches of Fiduciary duties, negligence, abuse of margin and concentration, based on recommendation of unauthorized and unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $200,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
  • July 2018. “Churning, unsuitable investments recommendations & elder abuse.” The customer is seeking $581,454 in damages and the case is currently pending.
  • February 2018. “Claimant alleged omissions, breaches of fiduciary duties and fraud based on recommendation of unsuitable investments and unauthorized trades.” The customer sought $425,000 in damages and the case was settled for $150,000.
  • December 2017. “Claimant alleges that the recommendation to purchase Clearbridge American Energy MLP in November 2014 and all subsequent purchase of Clearbridge were unsuitable. Claims for failure to treat claimant in a just and equitable manner, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.” The customer sought $41,835 in damages and the case was settled for $23,500.
  • 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 customer sought $855,299 in damages and the case was settled for $365,951.
  • January 2017. “Claimant alleges, inter alia, that from March 2012 to February 2016 the FA made unsuitable investments in the client accounts.” The customer sought $950,718.24 in damages and the case was settled for $340,000.
  • December 2016. “From 2012, Claimants allege that as a result of respondents’ acts, omissions, breaches of duties and fraud, they have suffered damages.” The customer sought $600,000 in damages ad the case was settled for $427,500.
  • September 2016. “Claimant alleges from the period July 2013 to the present, wrongful, intentional fraudulent and deceptive activities in claimant’s accounts. Including unsuitable and unauthorized trading. The complaint included claims for breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, violation of CA corp. Code 25401, 25501 and 25504.” The customer sought $700,000 in damages and the case was settled for $353,000.
  • August 2016. “Wrongful conduct; breach of fiduciary duty; constructive fraud; fraud by misrepresentation and omission; breach of written contract; failure to supervise and control and violation of state and federal securities laws. Account was established on 09/03/2013 and was closed on 09/12/2016.” The customer sought $1,127,218 in damages and the case was settled for $630,000.
  • March 2016. “Clients allege the registered representative engaged in unauthorized trading and are alarmed at the margin debit which has accumulated since the clients did not intend to utilize margin for trading purposes.” The customer sought $200,000 in damages and the case was settled for $75,000.

Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Wedbush Securities Inc. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Heiden’s customers.

Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.

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Author: Jeffrey Erez

The founder of Erez Law, Jeffrey Erez, focuses exclusively on securities arbitration and litigation. Mr. Erez passionately believes in representing aggrieved investors and obtaining justice for his clients through litigation.