Some (allegedly!) corrupt brokers see the opportunity to scam an elderly client and say "Good enough." Hank Mark Werner (allegedly!) saw the opportunity to scam an elderly client and said, and we're paraphrasing a bit here, "No, dream bigger. She should also..."
- Be blind
- A widow
- Unable to care for herself
Werner, who’s based in Suffolk County, churned the account of the widow, who also had scoliosis, is partially deaf, and used to run a newspaper stand in the Manhattan Municipal Building, according to a complaint filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The 80-year-old widow, who’s identified only as “DC” in court documents, was “in such poor health that she required continuous in-home care, which is something Werner knew,” Finra claims. Werner became the broker for DC and her husband, known in documents as TC, in 1995. After TC died in 2012, Werner took control of the widow’s accounts, the industry watchdog said. In 2015, the broker sold her an “unsuitable” variable annuity — a typically expensive insurance investment — that gave him a commission of $10,030 on the sale, a violation of Finra’s rules, the complaint claims.
In related news, it may surprise you to hear that Werner has run into some broker/client problems before, and owes Finra money.
In 1998, when he worked at American Investment Services, he was accused in a civil suit of churning a client’s account, misrepresentation and deception, fraud, and unsuitable investment activity for $412,636, according to Finra records. The suit was settled for $72,500 plus fees. He also has six outstanding tax liens totaling $766,700, according to Finra.