The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker William Heiden. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, William Heiden has been the subject of numerous customer disputes.
William Heiden was a California based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for twenty-one years. During his career, he was registered with five different securities firms.
- Crowell, Weddon & Co. (1997-2000)
- Sutro & Co. (2000-2002)
- RBC Dain Rauscher (2002-2007)
- Morgan Stanley (2007-2013)
- Wedbush Securities (2013-2018)
- In October 2015, a customer alleged that William Heiden engaged in wrongful, intentional, fraudulent, and deceptive activities that included recommending unsuitable investments, executing unauthorized trades, falsifying documents, and misrepresenting and omitting material facts. This case was settled for $549,920 in damages.
- In March 2016, a customer alleged that William Heiden engaged in unauthorized trading on margin. This case was settled for $75,000 in damages.
- In August 2016, a customer alleged that William Heiden breached his fiduciary duty, engaged in fraud through misrepresentation and omission, breached written contract, and violated state and federal securities laws. This case was settled for $630,000 in damages.
- In September 2016, a customer alleged that William Heiden engaged in unsuitable and unauthorized trading, breached his fiduciary duty, and engaged in constructive fraud. This case was settled for $353,000 in damages.
- In December 2016, claimants alleged that they experienced losses due to William Heiden’s omissions, breach of duties, and fraudulent behavior. This case was settled for $427,500 in damages.
- In January 2017, a customer alleged that William Heiden made unsuitable investments in their accounts. This case was settled for $340,000 in damages.
- In June 2017, a customer alleged that William Heiden breached his fiduciary duty, violated industry rules, and engaged in financial elder abuse. The alleged transgressions taking place between September 2013 and April 2017. This case was settled for $365,951 in damages.
- In February 2018, a customer alleged that William Heiden made material omissions, breached his fiduciary duties, engaged in fraud, recommended unsuitable investments, and executed unauthorized trades. This case was settled for $150,000 in damages.
- In July 2018, a customer alleged that William Heiden churned their account, made unsuitable investment recommendations, and engaged in financial elder abuse. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $581,454 in damages.
- In April 2019, a customer alleged that William Heiden breached his fiduciary duty, committed fraud by misrepresentation, executed unauthorized trades, and engaged in financial elder abuse. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $1,195,000 in damages.
What Does This Mean?
There were a lot of allegations levied against former securities broker William Heiden through the numerous complaints about his alleged actions. Some of the most noteworthy levied against him were that of misrepresentation and omission, unauthorized trading, and financial elder abuse.
Misrepresentation And Omission
Omission occurs when a securities broker leaves out pertinent details when disclosing information about an investment, or potential investment, to their customer. Misrepresentation occurs when a securities broker provides a customer with falsified information about their investments or potential investments. Misrepresentation and omission can take place through the broker’s fraudulent intent, or through the broker’s negligence. Regardless of the broker’s intent, misrepresentation and omission can cause serious financial harm to investors. This is because it can cause investors to make financial decisions based on misinformation.
Securities brokers are not allowed to execute trades in an investor’s account without first obtaining said investor’s authorization to do so. Just because an investor has hired a securities broker does not mean they have forfeited their right to decide what securities they want to be invested in. There is a trading practice known as discretion that allows securities brokers to execute trades in a customer’s account without first obtaining their authorization. However, before a broker can begin engaging in discretionary trading in a customer’s account, they must first receive express written authorization from the customer, and have their member firm deem the account as suitable for discretionary trading.
Financial Elder Abuse
Financial elder abuse is something that has plagued the securities world for some time now. Most elderly investors rely heavily on their securities brokers to recommend investments that are suitable for them based on their age. Less than scrupulous securities brokers often exploit this trust and will take advantage of elderly investors by placing them in investments they are not financially suited for, or perpetrate a complex investment scheme designed to convert their funds.
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 William Heiden, 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.