FINRA Says Ex-Morgan Stanley Stockbroker Misappropriated Nearly $400,000 From 97-Year-Old Widow

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is charging stockbroker John Mullins with misappropriating nearly $400,000 from an elderly widow and her charitable foundation. Esther Weil, a 97-year-old widow, died earlier this month. She was living in a nursing home. Mullins was her stockbroker for over 20 years.

Mullins allegedly tried to conceal his status with his elderly client’s charitable foundation. John and his wife Kathleen were the trustees of Weil’s nonprofit foundation-a relationship that is prohibited by Morgan Stanley’s firm policies. Morgan Stanley employed the Mullins from 2002-2006. The company fired them after it was discovered that they were violating company policies.

John is accused of allegedly misappropriating funds from his employer for improper expenses, making misstatements on his firm’s yearly compliance questionnaires and Form U4, and accepting an unauthorized $100,000 loan from a client.

Mullins’ wife Kathleen also accepted a loan from the elderly woman and made misstatements on Form U4 and compliance questionnaires. The couple has been charged with failure to adhere to high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.

According to New Jersey Regulators, John Mullins converted $375,000 of Weil’s assets for his personal use when she became seriously ill in 2006. He also allegedly withdrew $14,000 from her Morgan Stanley account.

John also allegedly used Esther’s debit card to buy a $3,700 50-inch plasma television, bought $11,000 in Four Seasons Hotel and Resort Gift Certificates, and spent $4,000 to pay for a London vacation. He also may have charged the charitable foundation thousands of dollars for personal expenses.

The New Jersey Securities Bureau has charged the couple them with alleged misconduct. They are barred from working in New Jersey’s securities industry.

Shepherd Smith and Edwards has helped many stockbroker fraud victims throughout the U.S. recover their losses caused by the misconduct of brokers or advisers. One of our stockbroker fraud lawyers can speak with you today.

Related Web Resources:

Read the FINRA complaint, FINRA (PDF)

Margate couple sanctioned by state, Press of Atlantic, February 15, 2008
Investors’ Watchdog

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