The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of securities broker Richard Wesselt. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Richard Wesselt has been the subject of multiple customer disputes over the course of his career.

Richard Wesselt is a Pennsylvania based securities broker. He has worked in the securities industry for twenty-seven years. During his career, he has been registered with six different securities firms.

His Registrations

  • PML Securities Company (1992-1994)
  • W.S. Griffith & Co. (1994-1997)
  • American Investment Services (1997-2002)
  • Sterne Agee Financial Services (2002-2014)
  • The O.N. Equity Sales Company (2014-2017)
  • Fortune Financial Services (2017-Present)

The Allegations

  • In August 2016, customers alleged that Richard Wesselt recommended an unsuitable variable annuity and life insurance policy. This case was settled for $24,257 in damages.
  • In March 2017, a customer alleged that Richard Wesselt negligently sold unsuitable products to them which violated his fiduciary duty. This case was settled for $15,000 in damages.
  • In June 2018, a customer alleged that Richard Wesselt recommended unsuitable investments and made material misrepresentations. This case was settled for $56,250 in damages.
  • In October 2018, a customer alleged that Richard Wesselt made unsuitable investment recommendations and engaged in deceptive and unfair trade practices. This case settled for $85,000 in damages.
  • In January 2019, a customer alleged that Richard Wesselt engaged in the unsuitable sales of insurance and annuities. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $750,000 in damages.
  • In February 2019, a customer alleged that Richard Wesselt made unsuitable investment recommendations, recommended unsuitable investment strategies, and made material misrepresentations and omissions of fact. This case was settled for $100,000 in damages.
  • In March 2019, a customer alleged that Richard Wesselt recommended unsuitable investments. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $350,000 in damages.
  • In April 2019, a customer alleged that Richard Wesselt recommended they purchase whole life insurance products with funds received by taking loans against cash values of existing policies and by withdrawing funds from annuities, an IRA account, and a savings account. The customer believes that this strategy was incredibly unsuitable based on their investment objectives. This case was settled for $207,5000 in damages.
  • In June 2019, a customer alleged that Richard Wesselt recommended unsuitable securities, recommended an unsuitable investment strategy, and made material misrepresentations and omissions of fact. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $10 million in damages.
  • In November 2019, a customer alleged that Richard Wesselt recommended unsuitable whole life insurance policies. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $20,000 in damages.
  • Also in November 2019, a customer alleged that Richard Wesselt executed multiple unsuitable transactions related to the sale of life insurance policies. This case was settled for $112,725 in damages.
  • In January 2020, customers alleged that Richard Wesselt recommended highly unsuitable high commission products such as annuities and whole life insurance products. This case is currently pending. The customers are seeking $100,000 in damages.

What Does This Mean?

Securities brokers have a duty as a fiduciary to always act in the best financial interests of their customers. The most important part of this is only recommending investments and investment strategies that are suitable for their customers. Many investors are financially unsuited for certain investments based on important factors like investment objectives, age, financial situation, annual income, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs. Brokers unable to determine if an investment is suitable for an investor based on these factors lack the ability to perform their duties to the required standard.

While many investors may find themselves placed in investments they are financially unsuited for due to their broker’s negligence, many investors also become invested in unsuitable investment products due to their broker’s fraudulent intent or reckless indifference. Many of the products that Richard Wesselt allegedly recommended to his customers are ones that provide the recommending brokers with excessively high commissions. These commissions often create significant conflicts of interest for securities brokers that can lead to them recommending products to investors that are woefully unsuited for them.

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 Richard Wesselt, 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.