Long Island Broker Throws His Hat In The Ring For "Worst Person, 2016"

Small-time (alleged!) crook edition.
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Come to papa. (Getty)

Come to papa. (Getty)

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.

Long Island broker defrauded ailing widow of $427K: suit [NYP]

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Four Years After Shuttering Fund, Long Island Asset Manager/Hooters Franchise Owner/Frederick's Of Hollywood Devotee Not Ready To Part With Investor Money Just Yet

In 2008, Fursa Strategic Alternatives, an asset management firm run by Massapequa resident William F. Harley III, informed investors that it would be closing its doors and returning everyone's money. As some money managers can likely attest though, making the decision to close up shop (and writing people to say as much), doesn't mean you're emotionally ready to do so. Harley, for example, couldn't shake the feeling that he was put on this earth to be an investor and, god damn it, he was going to invest until the day he died. So he did what any rational human being in his position would, and decided to just, you know, hang on to his clients' money for a while. Of course, the pesky little varmints kept calling, so he had to disconnect the phones and to avoid an awkward confrontation wherein they appeared at the firm's building demanding their cash in person, he moved HQ into the basement of one of his other businesses, a Hooters restaurant. That got people off his tail for a while but, unfortunately, they popped up again and this time are taking legal action. The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation filed the lawsuit last month in the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County, Pa. It has since been moved to federal court in the western district of Pennsylvania. The charity said in its lawsuit that William F. Harley III continued operating Fursa Strategic Alternatives from the basement of a Hooters restaurant on Long Island after saying in 2008 the fund would close and the charity's money would be returned. Federal filings show Fursa in January was the largest investor in lingerie company Frederick's of Hollywood Group. A spokesman for Harley said lawyers for the fund sought unsuccessfully to contact the charity last year. Harley could not be reached for comment at his home Wednesday...The lawsuit points to Fursa's investment in Frederick's of Hollywood as evidence the company continued operating instead of returning its money. Fursa Alternative Strategies owns 46 percent of Frederick's, according to the company's proxy statement. While a spokesman for Harley has not denied most of the allegations, he does take issue with claim that Fursa has any sort of legitimate set-up at any of his four Hooters, telling Newsday that he "occasionally has business meetings at them, but doesn't run an office there." Charity lawsuit accuses Massapequa man of mishandling $2M investment [Newsday]

UBS Broker May Have Taken Stress Of The Job Out On 70 Windows In Beverly Hills, Encino Using "Slingshot Projectiles"

This is his story. The unlikely suspect in a string of window breakings in Beverly Hills -- a 58-year-old Encino investment adviser -- may be connected to 70 additional cases in the area, authorities said. Michael Steven Poret, a broker at UBS Financial Services, was arrested in Encino last week. Police say that Poret vandalized numerous businesses along Ventura Boulevard and several private homes in Beverly Hills. A witness account and private surveillance footage have depicted the vandal as a graying man in white gloves firing marbles at plate glass windows with a slingshot from the driver's seat of his car, then driving away in no apparent hurry. Authorities believe that Poret could be connected to more than 20 vandalism incidents in Beverly Hills and more than 50 in Encino, as well as several other vandalism reports authorities have received in Van Nuys and Topanga Canyon. The vandal appears to target businesses indiscriminately, hitting coffee shops, an autism treatment center and a salon. Luie Velasquez, a detective with the West Valley division of the Los Angeles Police Department, said the police's top theory is that the suspect sought excitement. "Your guess is as good as mine," Velasquez said. "For whatever reason, these individuals get some sort of thrill from smashing windows." Poret was first arrested July 3 after a Beverly Hills patrol officer spotted a slingshot in his vehicle during a traffic stop for a vehicle code violation. A search of his vehicle revealed brass knuckles, knives and slingshot projectiles. Poret was arrested again Thursday in an early morning raid on his Encino home, where police discovered firearms, bb guns, slingshots and marbles similar to those used in the window-breakings. A very understanding victim whose windows were hit three times and cost him $7,000 to repair had this to say: "I mean, I know that an investment bankers* are a little nuts. But you know, maybe the market is that bad. I don't get that. He must be a very frustrated guy." Alleged window-smashing broker may be suspect in 70 more cases [LATimes via TRB] *All together now: broker ≠ investment banker ≠ trader ≠ bank teller

Exotic Dancer Turned Financial Services VP Wants Long Island To Pay $10 Million For Forcing Her To Have An Affair With Responsibility-Shirking Cop

Remember Tara Obernauer? For a quick refresher, Obernauer is vice-president at Forbes Private Capital Group, whose resume also includes an MBA from Hofstra, five years as a compliance officer at Guggenheim Capital Markets, and dancing gig at a now-defunct gentlemen's club called Stringfellows, where she earned "$1,000 a night or more." Last July she started having an affair with Nassau County police officer Mike Tedesco,* which involved Tedesco literally and figuratively "parking his cruiser in Obernauer's driveway" during his shift and "hanging out on the couch, watching TV, and taking naps" while letting younger cops, who Tedesco referred to "assist bitches," respond to calls. The reason we know all this is that Mike's bosses "compared reports by Obernauer's neighbors with GPS records from his squad car, [which] showed at least 57 visits" at times he was supposed to be working, and then cross-referenced them with Obernauer, who had no intention of covering for Tedesco after she learned he was married with kids.** Anyway, in April Obernauer got an order of protection against the guy, fearing retaliation for not telling Internal Affairs that he was "just a friend who stops by once in a while," as per his request,** and now she wants Nassau County to cough up a few million for unleashing this animal on her. The mistress of a married Nassau County cop — who enjoyed more than 100 nights with him while he was on duty — is threatening to sue the county for $10 million because it didn’t prevent the couple’s steamy romance. Sexy Wall Street exec Tara Obenauer, 42, has filed a notice of claim saying that she intends to sue Nassau County and the Police Department because officials were “negligent” for not keeping Officer Mike Tedesco from visiting her house while he was on duty. “As a result of the County and Tedesco’s negligent and intentional acts, Claimant has suffered and sustained severe and substantial emotional damages,” the notice of claim said. Here's what Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli had to say about that: “I just think it’s rather ironic that she’s filing a notice of claim against the county. Because, based on what has been reported in the press, she was receiving from the county Police Department a lot more than others were receiving.” *Who showed up to her house claiming he'd received a report of loud music, after a colleague who knew Obernauer piqued Tedesco's interest by telling him "she was good-looking." **To which she responded "They have your GPS records, you moron. I'm not perjuring myself for you. We're over and I want my key back."