The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Matthew Werthe. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Matthew Werthe has been the subject of multiple customer disputes.
Matthew Werthe was a California based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for nine years. During his career, he was registered with just two different securities firms.
- Edward Jones (2009-2013)
- Raymond James Financial Services (2013-Present)
- In August 2016, a customer alleged that Matthew Werthe breached his fiduciary duty and duty of loyalty, handled their account negligently, made material misrepresentations, failed to disclose material facts, and recommended unsuitable securities. This case was settled for $80,000 in damages.
- In January 2018, a customer alleged that Matthew Werthe engaged in fraud, excessively traded their account, churned their account, executed unauthorized trades, engaged in forgery, breached his fiduciary duty, recommended unsuitable securities, breached contract, handled their account negligently, and engaged in unjust enrichment. This case was settled for $150,000 in damages. Matthew Werthe became the subject of a complaint with identical allegations in April 2018. This case is presently pending with the customer seeking $728,000 in damages.
Investors hire securities brokers to recommend securities that are suitable for them based on factors like investment objectives, age, and more. This is because most investors lack the ability to invest suitably on their own behalf. However, just because an investor has hired a broker to do this does not mean they have forfeited the right to ultimately decide what investments they want to be invested in. This is why brokers need to obtain their customer’s authorization before they execute a trade on their behalf. However, some less than scrupulous securities brokers will take it upon themselves to invest customers in particular securities even if they have not received authorization to do so. This can often lead to financial losses to the customer. Many of these brokers often circumvent this requirement because they already know the security they wish to recommend is one that would not be authorized. Another reason that brokers might execute trades without their customer’s authorization is because they don’t want their customer to catch on to the excessively high frequency in which they are executing trades.
Securities brokers are compensated for their services in two different ways. One is by charging their customer a flat fee that is determined by the value of the account they are managing. The other way is by receiving a percentage of the investor’s principal investment whenever they execute a trade on their customer’s behalf. This percentage is their commission for brokering the trade. The latter method of compensation can often lead to a fraudulent trading practice known as churning. This takes place when a broker excessively trades a customer’s account with the intent to increase their own commissions. This can often be incredibly detrimental to investors due to the incredibly unnecessary fees that cause principal investments to deteriorate.
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 Matthew Werthe, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. Oakes & Fosher handles cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.