Did You Suffer Investment Losses with Former Sterne Agee Financial Services, Inc. Financial Advisor Richard Wesselt?
Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 at 2:57 pm
Former Sterne Agee Financial Services, Inc. financial advisor Richard Wesselt (CRD# 2195569) faces $5 million-plus customer complaint for unsuitable whole life investment strategy. Wesselt has been registered with Fortune Financial Services, Inc. in Collegeville, Pennsylvania since September 2017. Previously, Wesselt was registered with the O.N. Equity Sales Company in Collegeville, Pennsylvania from 2014 to 2017. In 1997, Wesselt was terminated from W. S. Griffith & Co., Inc. in Hartford, Connecticut regarding, “Placing a customer’s signature on a document.” Also Wesselt was registered with Sterne Agee Financial Services, Inc. in Jeffersonville, Pennsylvania from 2002 to 2014.
According to public records, five former clients of Wesselt filed a FINRA arbitration claim against Sterne Agee Financial Services and Wesselt for alleged sales practice misconduct. The former customers are seeking between $5-10 million related to claims of churning and unsuitable investment recommendations. It is alleged that Wesselt recommend his clients purchase whole-life insurance products, which were issued by Ohio National Life Insurance, and fund those policies by taking loans against the cash value of existing policies and withdrawing money from annuities and 401(k) retirement savings plans. It is alleged that Wesselt pitched this strategy as one that the rich used, which would allow investors to achieve financial security. Between the five claimants, they purchased 24 life insurance policies, as well as annuity products. The investors took out loans to purchase the policies, which became unsustainable and have lapsed, which has resulted in loss of premium and insurance.
Wesselt has been the subject of 16 customer complaints between 2007 and 2018, three of which were denied, according to his CRD report. Recent customer complaints include:
April 2019. “Customer alleges Mr. Wesselt recommended the purchase of whole life insurance products funded by taking loans against cash values of existing policies and withdrawing money from annuities, IRA and 529 savings accounts.Client alleges strategy was unsuitable based on their goals and objectives.” The customer is seeking $200,000 in this pending customer complaint.
April 2019. “Claimant alleges unsuitable investment recommendations, deceptive and unfair trade practices.” The customer is seeking $300,000 in this pending customer complaint.
April 2019. “Customer alleges Mr. Wesselt recommended financial plan that was illogical unsuitable and fraudulent.” The customer is seeking $220,000 in this pending customer complaint.
March 2019. “Unsuitable investment recommendations and investment strategy.” The customer is seeking $350,000 in this pending customer complaint.
February 2019. “Unsuitable investment recommendations, investment strategy and misrepresentations and omissions.” The customer is seeking $220,000 in this pending customer complaint.
December 2018. “Customer alleges Mr. Wesselt engaged in unsuitable sales practices relating to sale of insurance and annuities.” The customer is seeking $750,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
October 2018. “Claimant alleges unsuitable investment recommendations, deceptive and unfair trade practices.” The customer is seeking $300,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
June 2018. “Customer alleges unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentation.” The customer is seeking $400,000 in damages and the case is currently pending. This case is regarding the sale of variable annuities.
August 2017. “Customer alleges sale of variable annuity was not suitable. The time period is 8/14/2016 to 8/17/2017.” The customer sought $5,736 in damages and the case was settled for $25,674.
March 2017. “Claimant alleges rep negligently sold unsuitable products in violation of his fiduciary duty.” The customer sought $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $15,000.
August 2016. “Customers alleges sale of variable annuity and life insurance were unsuitable.” The customer sought $25,709.94 in damages and the case was settled for $24,257.14.
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, O.N. Equity Sales Company may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Wesselt’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.