Richard Michael Wesselt, Formerly of Fortune Financial Services, Barred From Securities Sales in Minnesota and Maryland

INVESTORS: Former Fortune Financial Services broker Richard Michael Wesselt is barred from associating with FINRA members in Minnesota and Maryland.

Richard Michael Wesselt (CRD: 2195569) was registered as a broker with Fortune Financial Services from 2017 until 2020.  Wesselt was previously registered as a broker with The O.N. Equity Sales Company from 2014 until 2017. 

Wesselt has twenty-eight disclosures on his BrokerCheck report. Four customer disputes filed against Wesselt were denied.

June 2022 Regulatory Judgment

Status: Final

Initated By: Minnesota

Allegations: Respondent made numerous unsuitable annuity recommendations and failed to respond to the Department’s request for information.

Resolution: Consent

Bar: Bar (Permanent)

Registration Capacities Affected: All Capacities

Sanctions: Revocation


March 2022 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Customer alleges unsuitable recommendations and overselling of life insurance.

Damage Amount Requested: $350,000.00

Settlement Amount: $240,000.00


December 2021 Customer Dispute

Status: Pending

Allegations: Alleges representative sold life insurance as investment and churned holdings and having clients take loans from policies

Damage Amount Requested: $188,000.05


December 2021 Customer Dispute

Status: Pending

Allegations: Customer alleges unsuitable investment, investment strategy and overselling of life insurance.

Damage Amount Requested: $66,531.50


May 2021 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Misconduct by Richard Wesselt perpetrated upon Claimant includes, but is not limited to, grossly unsuitable investment recommendations, fraudulent inducement to invest in grossly unsuitable investments, negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations and/or omissions of material information concerning investment strategy and investments recommended, negligent hiring and/or retention of Richard M. Wesselt, failures to properly supervise, violations of Fortune Financial and ONRSCO’s policies and procedures, violations of securities industry rules, perpetrating deceptive and unfair trade practices upon Claimant in breach of statutory protections under Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, 73 P.S. && 201-1-201-9.3 [the “UTPCPL”], and failures to disclose the unlawful nature of Respondent’s conduct. Respondents engaged in said misconduct in connection with their handling of Claimant’s accounts held at ONESCO and Fortune Financial, and, as a result, said companies are liable to [REDACTED] in connection with the following legal claims asserted herein: 1] Fraud; 2] Negligence; 3} Breach of Fiduciary Duty; 4] Brach of Contract; and 5] violation of the UTPCPL. Amended Statement of Claim, dated June 16,2021. Claimant [REDACTED] by the through his undersigned counsel, Gucciardo Law Group, P.S., hereby files the instant Amended Statement of Claim to commence a FINRA Dispute Resolution Services arbitration proceeding against The O.N. Equity Sales Company. The only difference between Claimant’s Statement of Claim and Claimant’s Amended Statement of Claim is that Claimant is no longer pursuing claims against former respondent, Fortune Financial Services, Inc.

Damage Amount Requested: $60,000.00

Settlement Amount: $26,621.21


December 2020 Regulatory Judgment

Status: Final

Initiated By: Maryland

Allegations: On 11/9/2020, Wesselt consented to a bar from associations with any FINRA member in all capacities.

Resolution: Revocation

Sanctions: Revocation


November 2020 Regulatory Judgment

Status: Final

Initated By: FINRA

Allegations: Without admitting or denying the findings, Wesselt consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he made unsuitable recommendations that customers purchase a variable annuity. The findings stated that these recommendations were inconsistent with the customers’ investment profiles, including their time horizon, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance. Wesselt’s recommended investment strategy generally involved three steps. First, Wesselt recommended that his customers liquidate their retirement savings, which they often held in qualified, tax-deferred accounts such as 401(k)s or IRAs. As a result, these customers lost benefits associated with their 401(k)s, including services such as access to investment advice, telephone help lines, educational materials and workshops. Next, Wesselt recommended that customers purchase a variable annuity with funds liquidated from their retirement plans. Finally, after the variable annuity was issued, Wesselt recommended customers take early withdrawals, causing customers to lose benefits associated with the variable annuity and incur surrender charges. These unsuitable recommendations caused the customers to incur surrender charges of $378,452. The customers were subjected to costly fees and penalties, forfeiture of expected benefits, lapsed or cancelled policies, and the depletion or complete loss of their retirement savings. Wesselt, by contrast, earned commissions of $686,025 from the sale of the variable annuities. The findings also stated that, at Wesselt’s direction, employees in his office engaged in a practice of obtaining customer signatures on blank or incomplete forms. The forms included, among others, new account agreements and variable annuity withdrawal request forms. Wesselt directed his staff to send or provide partial documents or forms, or signature pages, to customers with instructions to sign and return the document. The forms were then completed by Wesselt or his staff and submitted to the member firm or the variable annuity company for processing. As a result of this practice, many of Wesselt’s customers did not have the opportunity to read important disclosures regarding their variable annuities, and thus were unaware of the features, costs, and risks associated with these products. Similarly, blank variable annuity withdrawal forms provided no information about the amount of the withdrawal, the withholding of taxes, or surrender fees. The findings also included that, by directing his employees to have customers sign blank or incomplete forms, Wesselt caused the firm to create and maintain inaccurate books and records.

Resolution: Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC)

Bar: Bar (Permanent)

Registration Capacities Affected: All Capacities

Duration: Indefinite

Start Date: 11/9/2020


October 2020 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Unsuitable investments

Settlement Amount: $207,700.00


September 2020 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Customers allege representative Wesselt misrepresented the sale of life insurance to build wealth for retirement and college funding.

Damage Amount Requested: $5,000.00

Settlement Amount: $18,000.00


April 2020 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Unsuitable investment and strategy recommendations.

Damage Amount Requested: $500,000.00

Settlement Amount: $80,000.00


January 2020 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Clients alleged former ONESCO representative Wesselt recommended high commission products such as annuities and life insurance which were not suitable investments

Damage Amount Requested: $100,000.00

Settlement Amount: $75,000.00

Broker Comment: Rich Wesselt is not named party to the arbitration, only the broker dealer ONESCO. Clients do not own any registered investment products.


November 2019 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Customer alleges several transactions related to the sale of life insurance were unsuitable.

Damage Amount Requested: $100,000.00

Settlement Amount: $112,725.00

Broker Comment: The life insurance polices are over 4 years old. Statute of limitations would come into question. Agent categorically denies any wrong doing. Agent contributed no money to any settlement. The life insurance company settled with no discussion with agent on policies that were over 4 years old and in some cases, over 6 years old.


September 2019 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Customer alleges sale of whole life insurance policies was suitable.

Damage Amount Requested: $20,000.00

Settlement Amount: $12,000.00

Broker Comment: Agent categorically denies any unsuitable recommendations. The issue in question is whole life insurance. Nothing was done improper and agent would defend vigorously. Agent believes this is frivolous and nothing more than someone trying to grab money in an unscrupulous way.


May 2019 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Unsuitable investment recommendations, investment strategy and misrepresentations and omissions.

Damage Amount Requested: $10,000,000.00

Settlement Amount: $326,000.00


April 2019 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Customer alleges Mr. Wesselt recommended the purchase of whole life insurance products funded by taking loans against cash values of existing policies and withdrawing money from annuities, IRA and 529 savings accounts.Client alleges strategy was unsuitable based on their goals and objectives.

Damage Amount Requested: $200,000.00

Settlement Amount: $207,500.00


April 2019 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Unsure if this is filed in error. The claimants are the same for both occurrence numbers 2034218 and 2008563 but SA Stone (18456) filed it with a claim of $300k on 12/5/18. ON Equity (2936) files the same claimants on 6/419 with a $900k claim. Both firms filed as settled for $85k/$0 on 1/21/2020

Damage Amount Requested: $300,000.00

Settlement Amount: $85,000.00

Broker Comment: Mr. Wesselt was not required to contribute any funds to the settlement.


March 2019 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Unsuitable investment recommendations, investment strategy and misrepresentations and omissions.

Damage Amount Requested: $350,000.00

Settlement Amount: $92,500.00


February 2019 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Unsuitable investment recommendations, investment strategy and misrepresentations and omissions.

Damage Amount Requested: $220,000.00

Settlement Amount: $100,000.00


December 2018 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: [REDACTED] alleges Mr. Wesselt engaged in unsuitable sales of insurance an annuities

Damage Amount Requested: $750,000.00

Settlement Amount: $275,000.00

Broker Comment: Mr. Wesselt was not required to contribute any funds to the settlement.


June 2018 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Customer alleges unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentation.

Damage Amount Requested: $400,000.00

Settlement Amount: $56,250.00

Broker Comment: Mr. Wesselt was not required to contribute to the settlement.


August 2017 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Customer alleges sale of variable annuity was not suitable. The time period is 8/14/2016 to 8/17/2017

Damage Amount Requested: $5,736.00

Settlement Amount: $25,674.00

Broker Comment: Update in response to U5 filing.


March 2017 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Claimant alleges rep negligently sold unsuitable products in violation of his fiduciary duty.

Damage Amount Requested: $100,000.00

Settlement Amount: $15,000.00


August 2016 Customer Dispute

Status: Settled

Allegations: Customers allege sale of variable annuity and life insurance were unsuitable

Damage Amount Requested: $25,709.94

Settlement Amount: $24,257.14


The Sonn Law Group is currently investigating allegations surrounding Richard Michael Wesselt. We represent investors in claims against negligent brokers and brokerage firms. If you or your loved one experienced investment losses, we are here to help. For a free consultation, please call us now at 866-827-3202 or complete our contact form.