In July 2014, Michael Winegar, formerly a broker with Wedbush Securities, allegedly convinced an elderly customer to pay him $100,000. Winegar told the 85-year-old customer that he would use the funds to create an independent advisory firm through which Winegar would supposedly satisfy the $100,000 debt by providing the customer with free investment advice over the next four years.
Winegar never established an independent advisory firm. In fact, Winegar was planning on retiring from the securities industry at the time of the agreement. After receiving the $100,000, Winegar sold his securities business to another Wedbush representative and left the industry. As part of the sale, Winegar entered into a non-compete agreement that prevented him from providing investment advice to his former Wedbush customers, including the elderly customer from whom Winegar had received the $100,000.
Winegar used the customer’s money for his own personal use, including paying off his daughter’s student loan debt and his own credit card bills. He also used a portion of the money to engage in securities trading on his own behalf. Winegar has not repaid any of the funds obtained from the elderly customer.
Winegar submitted a letter of acceptance, waiver, and consent to FINRA on January 20, 2016. FINRA has permanently barred Winegar from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of a broker’s wrongdoing, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.