The Sonn Law Group is investigating any and all fraud claims pertaining to investment advisor Austin Wayne Morton. According to records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (Broker CRD #5538108), Mr. Morton was recently separated from his employer, Edward Jones, after allegations of serious professional misconduct arose.
Customer Complaint Against Austin Wayne Morton
On February 24th, 2017, FINRA’s Department of Enforcement filed a disciplinary complaint against Austin Wayne Morton. The complaint can be accessed through FINRA’s official Disciplinary Actions Online search tool (case reference #2016052347901).
According to the allegations, Mr. Morton violated FINRA Rule 2010 by unlawfully taking at least $36,000 from one of his elderly clients who had been suffering from dementia.
Investment Theft and Conversion
FINRA investigators allege that Mr. Morton met with the elderly client (Client A) on September 6th, 2016. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss future investment plans. Mr. Morton wanted to obtain additional investment from Client A, but was unsuccessful in doing so.
In the week following the meeting, Mr. Morton met up with Client A again and eventually took him to a his bank to make a $22,000 withdrawal. The $2,000 was meant to pay Mr. Morton for services provided, while the other $20,000 was for Client A’s personal use.
Following the withdrawal, Mr. Morton took Client A to lunch, and he took all of the money for safekeeping. Client A, likely due to his weakened mental state, never got the money back. Indeed, Mr. Morton took his client’s money and used it for his own personal benefit. Less than a month later, Mr. Morton went to the elderly client’s home to ask him for a personal loan in the amount of $6,000.
Client A agreed, though nothing regarding this loan was written down, nor was the loan ever reported to Edward Jones. Client A gave Austin Wayne Morton, whom he trusted, a blank check to cash for the loan. Sadly, Mr. Morton broke that trust and made the check out for $16,000 instead of the agreed upon $6,000.
Motive: Financial Problems
Clients are required to put a great deal of trust into the hands of their investment advisers. Unfortunately, all too often, this trust is betrayed. This is why it is so important to do background research into a broker or brokerage firm before investing. Often, unscrupulous advisors will have committed a pattern of misconduct. In this case, investigators believe that Austin Wayne Morton had significant gambling losses and serious financial distress.
Specifically, investigators point to the fact that he had incurred more than $3,000 in bank overdraft fees from 2015-2016. Further, he deposited at least $150,000 into online gambling websites. It appears that $130,000 of that was lost. Mr. Morton worked out of an Edward Jones office in Eastern Oklahoma. If you worked with him, please review your records immediately. If you lost money, you need to take action now.
Request Your Free Legal Consultation Today
At the Sonn Law Group, we have extensive experience handling investment fraud claims. If you lost money investing with Austin Wayne Morton, we can help. Call our office today at 844-689-5754 for immediate assistance.