Finra Bars Ex-Wells Fargo Broker for Churning $666,000 from Aged Client’s Accounts
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Thursday permanently barred an Illinois-based broker at Wells Fargo Advisors from the securities industry, charging him with excessively trading in an elderly client’s accounts and lying to Finra investigators.
Over more than seven years ending last year, Matthew C. Maczko generated about $666,000 in commissions and fees from trades in four of the now 93-year-old client’s accounts, according to a waiver and consent letter he signed that was posted on Finra’s enforcement website. The accounts, which averaged about $3 million of assets, incurred about $400,000 in trading losses between January 2009 and April 2016, it said.
“This level of trading was unsuitable given her investment profile,” Finra wrote, citing the client’s age, risk tolerance, and income needs.
Both Finra and the Securities and Exchange Commission said in January that protection of senior investors remain exam and enforcement priorities in 2017.
In his consent letter with Finra, Maczko also accepted a finding that he gave “inaccurate and misleading testimony” when investigators questioned him in September about contacting two other elderly clients following his dismissal by Wells earlier that month. He denied doing so, but telephone records indicated he had spoken with them several times, according to the consent order.
Maczko, who accepted the findings without admitting or denying the allegations, did not return a call for comment left at a phone listing under his name in Downers Grove, Ill. He had worked at nearby offices in Oak Brook office and Oakbrook Terrace for Wells and UBS Financial Services for for more than 28 years, according to Finra’s BrokerCheck database.
Wells last May settled a complaint for $1 million from a customer who alleged that Maczko made unauthorized trading and failed to inform her of commissions she was being charged.
A Wells Fargo Advisors spokeswoman declined to comment.
Prior to joining Wells Advisor and its predecessor firm Wachovia Securities in 2008, Maczko spent more than 19 years at UBS Financial Securities and its predecessor firm PaineWebber, according to his registration records with Finra and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
He accumulate five customer complaints throughout his career, including two that were denied, two that were settled for a total of $1.04 million and one that is pending, according to BrokerCheck.