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California Securities Lawyer Update: FINRA Panel Slams Wedbush Securities in Elder Abuse Arbitration

By George C. Miller, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Friday, July 14, 2017.

George C. Miller

George C. Miller


Location: San Diego, California
Phone: (619) 696-9500 (Ext. 105)
Direct: (619) 501-8270
Email[email protected]

George C. Miller, Esq.
619.696.9500 ex. 105
[email protected]

A panel of FINRA arbitrators recently awarded $1.4 million to Agatha and John Dancy, two elderly former clients of Wedbush Securities who were sold allegedly unsuitable structured and derivative products by their broker, Mark Augusta. While a significant award in its own right, the award is particularly notable because it includes a whopping $1.1 million in punitive damages–roughly three times the amount of compensatory damages the Claimants sought and the panel awarded.

California’s elder abuse laws, which provide for recovery of “treble damages” in cases involving elder abuse, likely factored in the panel’s decision to wack Wedbush with over a million in punitives. While the arbitration award is final, and there is no mechanism to appeal it through FINRA’s arbitration division, Wedbush and its attorneys are likely evaluating potential grounds to challenge the award in court through a petition to modify or vacate the award.  

Augusta’s public broker-check report reflects more than 15 client complaints in his 30 year career in the industry. He resigned from Wedbush immediately after the investors filed a complaint claiming the structured and derivative products he allegedly sold them were unsuitable and inappropriate given their advanced age. Augusta remains employed in the securities industry, and is currently registered with Hilltop Securities in Del Mar, California.    

Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C.’s experienced California securities and financial services lawyers are well versed in the securities and financial services industry.  We routinely represent brokerage firms, registered representatives, registered investment advisory firms (RIAs) and others employed in the securities and financial services industry in FINRA inquiries and investigations.  Contact our San Diego FINRA lawyers today for a complimentary consultation. 

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