Rule-breaking stockbroker fired, selling other services


BRIAN:..FIRST TONIGHT — A WEST MICHIGAN FINANCIAL PLANNER – FIRED – AND UNDER INVESTIGATION OVER ALLEGATIONS OF MISAPPROPRIATION OF CLIENT FUNDS. YET TARGET 8 FOUND HIM TRYING TO SELL OTHER FINANCIAL SERVICES.. 3 “DON’T YOU THINK THOSE PEOPLE IN THAT ROOM HAD A RIGHT TO KNOW THAT YOU’RE UNDER INVESTIGATION?” 3 3 MARLEE:..A TIP TO TARGET 8 INVESTIGATOR SUSAN SAMPLES GOT US ON THIS MAN’S TRAIL – AND ON A MISSION TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURELF.. 3 3 TARGET 8 WASN’T INVITED… 3 “DOOR OPENING..” BUT WE HAD TO BE HERE… 3 “LET’S SEE WHAT THIS GUY’S TELLING PEOPLE..” BECAUSE WE HAD SOME QUESTIONS FOR THE MAN PITCHING HIS 3 RETIREMENT PLANNING SKILLS TO THE TWENTY FOLKS WHO SHOWED UP FOR HIS SEMINAR THIS WEEK AT A KENT COUNTY RESTAURANT.. 3 “THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO IS END UP IN RETIREMENT THINKING YOU HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT AND FINDING OUT THAT YOU DON’T.”ON A BREAK – OUTSIDE THE ROOM.. 3 “I’M SUSAN.. JAIME.. I’M WITH NEWS 8. OH OKAY..” JAIME WESTENBARGER … 42 YEARS OLD… FROM ADA… FOUNDER OF FOREST HILLS FINANCIAL.. 3 “THESE PEOPLE CAN TRUST YOU…. ABSOLUTELY.. I’VE BEEN DOING THIS 20 YEARS..” BUT WHAT THESE PEOPLE LIKELY DON’T KNOW- WESTENBARGER CAN NO LONGER SELL INVESTMENTS – AFTER THE BROKER HE WAS REGISTERED THROUGH – SECURE AMERICA – FIRED HIM… AND SENT THIS LETTER TO HIS CLIENTS .. SAYING HE’S THE SUBJECT OF AN INTERNAL REVIEW INVOLVING ALLEGATIONS OF MISAPPROPRIATION OF CLIENT FUNDS… WESTENBARGER DISAPPEARED TOO FROM FOREST HILLS FINANCIAL’S WEBSITE OVERNIGHT… HIS EXPLANATION FOR THAT.. 3 “THE COMPANY IS BEING SOLD OFF AND I’M NOT PART OF IT ANYMORE..”HE DIDN’T WANT TO BE PART OF THIS CONVERSATION ANYMORE EITHER BUT AGREED TO COME TO THE STATION.. 3 “HAVE YOU STOLEN FROM YOUR CLIENTS? NO. NEVER. NEVER.” WHAT THE FINANCIAL PLANNER SAYS HE DID DO – WAS BORROW MONEY FROM TWO CLIENTS IN 2018… 60-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN ONE CASE – A CLEAR RULES VIOLATION … AND THE GROUNDS SECURITIES AMERICA CITED FOR FIRING HIM.. AND THERE’S ANOTHER RED FLAG… THE ALLEGED LOAN – WAS NOT DOCUMENTED. 3 “YOU HAVE NO DOCUMENTATION THAT THIS WAS INDEED A LOAN.. AND THAT THE INDIVIDUAL HAD AGREED TO IT.. CORRECT, I DON’T HAVE DOCUMENTATION ON IT.. ” 3 “THE PEOPLE I REPRESENT SAY IT WAS NOT A PERSONAL LOAN.. IT WAS MEANT AS AN INVESTMENT.” ATTORNEY ANDREW RODENHOUSE REPRESENTS ONE OF THE CLIENTS WHOSE MONEY WESTERNBARGER CLAIMS HE BORROWED.. 3 “THE ALLEGATION IS THERE WAS MONEY DEPOSITED INTO FOREST HILLS FINANCIAL THAT WASN’T PUT INTO ANY INVESTMENT AS IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE..” 3 “LAST YEAR WAS A BAD YEAR..” WESTENBARGER SAYS HE PLANNED TO USE ONE OF THE SO-CALELD LOANS – FOR 60-GRAND – TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A REAL ESTATE OPPORTUNITY.. AFTER HE WAS GOT FRUSTRATED TRYING TO GET A BANK LOAN.HE SAYS THE DEAL WAS HE’D PAY THE CLIENT BACK WITH 6 PERCENT INTEREST… BUT THEN – A MONTH OR SO LATER – HIS WIFE DIED BY SUICIDE.. AND HE ULTIMATELY USED THE MONEY FOR LIVING EXPENSES.. 3 “IT’S NOT SOME MASSIVE COVERUP… NOTHING MAJOR.. THERE’S NOT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MISSING… IT DOESN’T INVOLVED ANY MISAPPROPRIATION S..” WESTEBARGER CALLS THE SO- CALLED LOAN A MISTAKE – A LAPSE IN JUDGEMENT – RODENHOUE CALLS THE FINANCIAL PLANNER’S EXPLANATION DUBIOUS AT BEST.. “WERE YOU SURPRISE TO LEARN THAT HE’S GIVING PRESENTATIONS.. I AM SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT.. BUT THEN AGAIN.. THE MAN NEEDS TO EAT.” 3 SUSAN:..YOU CAN CHECK OUT YOUR ADVISOR’S HISTORY ON A SITE CALLED BROKERCHECK — WE HAVE THAT LINKED ON OUR WEBSITE. BUT ANDREW RODENHOUSE SAYS YOU SHOULD FIRST MAKE SURE THE FIRM THAT EMPLOYS YOUR BROKER IS REPUTABLE, LICENSED, AND FULLY-INSURED SO IT CAN STEP IN AND MAKE YOU WHOLE IF YOUR ADVISER VIOLATES RULES. 3 3 SUSAN:..BRIAN AND MARLEE – FOR FULL TRANSPARENCY – WHILE INVESTIGATING THIS CASE – WHICH I WAS TIPPED OFF TO BY A VIEWER – IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT A RELATIVE OF ONE OF THE CLIENTS WESTENBARGERS ACCUSED OF TAKING MONEY FROM – WORKS HERE AT NEWS 8. 3 3 BRIAN:.. 3 IF YOU HAVE A TIP YOU WANT OUR TARGET 8 INVESTIGATORS TO LOOK INTO — SEND YOUR INFORMATION TO OUR TEAM THROUGH EMAIL OR SOCIAL MEDIA, OR CALL THE TOLL FREE TIP LINE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *