The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Herbert Hafen. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Herbert Hafen has been the subject of a customer dispute.

Herbert Hafen was a New York-based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for thirty-nine years. During his career, he was registered with seven different securities firms. He is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.

His Registrations

  • Merrill Lynch (1979)
  • Sutro & Co. (1979-1982)
  • Consolidated Capital Securities Corporation (1983-1984)
  • Bateman Eichler, Hill Richards, Incorporated (1982-1990)
  • Bear, Stearns & Co. (1990-2008)
  • Morgan Stanley (2008-2018)
  • Wells Fargo Clearing Services (2018)

The Allegations

In September 2018, an attorney, on behalf of a customer, alleged that Herbert Hafen misappropriated the customer’s funds over a seven-year period. This case was settled for $430,000 in damages. According to findings released by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Herbert Hafen actually defrauded multiple clients by convincing them to invest in an entity away from his member firm. He allegedly claimed that this outside investment would provide the customers with a six percent annual return and lacked any risk. On Hafen’s alleged recommendation, these customers liquidated stock holdings and personal retirement accounts in order to invest in this entity. However, instead of investing these funds, Herbert Hafen allegedly had the funds transferred to his own personal account where he converted them for his own personal use. According to the SEC findings, this scheme lasted for a whopping seven years. During that time, Hafen stole over $1.6 million from eleven victims. Herbert Hafen eventually pled guilty to charges of investment adviser fraud.

What Does This Mean?

Converting an investor’s funds is one of the most blatant and fraudulent acts that a securities broker can ever commit. The investor/broker relationship is very fragile. This is because the investors place themselves in a very vulnerable position by trusting their money with a securities broker. Brokers who convert their investor’s money lessen the overall trust that investors have for brokers and make it incredibly difficult for good brokers to do their jobs. While it goes without saying that brokers who commit the heinous act of conversion should be held accountable for their actions, the securities firms that employ them should be as well. It is imperative that securities firms monitor the individuals they hire to make sure that their employees do not harm people in the scope of their employment. Securities firms who fail to prevent brokers from harming investors in this fashion must be held liable for their negligence.

Oakes & Fosher Can Help

Many investors are unaware of the legal recourse available to them after losing money due to securities broker fraud and/or negligence. The truth is that investors who have lost money in this fashion may actually be entitled to damages.

Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with Herbert Hafen, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. We work on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.