Category Archives: Fraud

Clayton Wertz-Former First Financial Equity Broker-Barred from Securities Industry-Dallas, TX

April 2020-Dallas, TX

The FINRA records of Clayton H. Wertz, a broker last employed  in the securities industry by First Canterbury Securities, Inc., disclose  a regulatory event resulting in his bar from the securities industry, a customer dispute and a termination from employment.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In September 2019, Wertz was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA after allegations that he created false account statements for a customer in order for the customer to secure a bank loan for $1.872 million.   The findings stated that Wertz created a false account statement for the customer by changing the name, address and account number on another customer’s statement that showed the account holding more than $3 million in securities.   Wertz gave the false statements to the bank’s loan officer.   Because the bank required copies of account statement each month, he created a false account statement for the customer for every month.   Wertz gave some of the false statements to the customer, knowing that the customer would provided them to the bank and gave others directly to the bank.   According to FINRA, Wertz knew the account statements contained false values and that there would be submitted to the bank to obtain and maintain the loan.   Wertz received $50,000 from the customer and the customer’s brother in payment for his actions.    The customer’s entity subsequently borrowed additional money from the bank and was extended a credit based in part on the false account statements.   The customer’s entity defaulted on its loan from the bank, resulting in a loss to the bank of more than $3.2 million.

Wentz’s employment history in the securities industry includes:  First Canterbury Securities, Inc. ,  First Financial Equity Corporation , Aspen Equity Partners, Hilltop Securities (formerly Southwest Securities), Wachovia Securities and Merrill Lynch.   

If you have problems in an account  handled by Clayton Holman Wertz call for a no charge consultation .

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Ft. Lauderdale Man Charged with Defrauding Retiree of Retirement Savings

November 2019- Ft. Lauderdale, FL

According to a recent press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Michael Jerome Atkins, 60, was arraigned on mail fraud and aggravated identity theft charges on November 21, 2019.

The indictment alleges that Atkins defrauded a retiree out of her retirement savings of more than $400,000 by promising her that if she loaned him her savings he would use it for his business, All Points Aviation and Associates, and repay her in two months.

According to the allegations Atkins used the funds for his personal benefit and dd not repay the victim.

An indictment is a charging instrument containing accusations.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty, beyond a reasonable double, in a court of law.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Herbert “Elias” Hafen-Former Morgan Stanley Broker-Pleads Guilty to Fraud- New York, NY

November  2019- New York, NY

The FINRA records of  Herbert “Elias” Hafen ,  a  financial advisor previously employed by  Morgan Stanley, disclose a prior regulatory event,  a pending criminal matter, a pending civil matter, a prior customer dispute and a termination from employment.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In 2/2019  Hafen failed to respond to FINRA request for information in connection with a FINRA investigation and was permanently barred from the securities industry.

In September 2019 Hafen pled guilty to investment adviser fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for January 2020.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Hafen in 9/2019 alleging that from July 2011-April 2018 Hafen defrauded clients of the financial institutions he worked for at that time. VIctims were promised 6% interest in an investment that had little risk. In reality there was no investment and Hafen used the money for personal expenses. Of the $1.6 million he raised from victims only about $650,000 was returned.

In 5/2019, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney customer was paid $430,000 to resolve allegations that Hafen  misappropriated funds.

In 8/2018 Hafen was discharged from Wells Fargo Clearing Services  after he admitted to entering into financial arrangements with clients that were not approved by the firm.

Hafen was registered with Wells Fargo Clearing Services  from March to September of 2018.  Prior to that he was employed by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney from 6/2009-4/2018.

If you have losses in an account  handled by Herbert “Elias” Hafen , contact us for a no charge consultation to learn how you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Texas Regulators Revoke Gus Marwieh’s Securities Registration-Austin, TX

October 2019 – Austin, Texas 

Texas Securities Commissioner, Travis Iles, revoked the registration of  Gus Marwieh  for fraud related to the sale of pension investments, according to a news release from the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB). 

According to the release Marwieh, who was president of Marwieh Advisory Services in Austin, fraudulently sold over $5 million in investments without disclosing excessive commissions, misuse of client funds and conflicts of interest.

The TSSB inspection of Marwieh’s books and records revealed that Marwieh primarily recommended investments in either Future Income Payments (FIP) supposedly based on payouts from pensions, and promissory notes from real estate developers which were supposed to pay 18% annually.

The TSSB found that Marwieh collected commissions on sales of these two products in excess $300,000 and violated his fiduciary duty by not disclosing conflicts of interest to his customers and by using escrowed funds to pay personal expenses.

Link to TSSB Disciplinary Order. 

About the TSSB, from their website:

The State Securities Board is responsible for administering and enforcing the Texas Securities Act. The agency is overseen by five Board members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for six-year overlapping terms. The Board adopts and periodically updates rules to ensure that investors are adequately protected and that unreasonable burdens on legitimate capital-raising activities are avoided. The Board appoints a Securities Commissioner who serves at its pleasure and serves as the agency’s chief administrative officer and supervises the day-to-day activities of the staff.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870