The Investor’s Watchdog

The Investor's Watchdog

Francis Weller and Timothy Johnson Face Allegations of Violating Securities Industry Rules Including Breach of Fiduciary Duties

Monday, January 7, 2019

On December 19, 2018, the Massachusetts Secretary of State Office filed an administrative complaint against South Orleans registered representative Francis Weller Jr., owner of brokerage company Weller Asset Management (WAM), alleging that he orchestrated a scheme with a stockbroker to overcharge his clients more than $1 million in trading fees. Weller has owned and operated the investment advisory business outside of Cape Cod since 1994.

Securities Division enforcement attorney Benjamin Donovan filed a complaint against Weller and Weller Asset Management, stating that Weller required his clients to open trade accounts at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc. (Stifel) but did not disclose the conflict of interest. Weller allegedly had been working with Stifel registered representative Timothy Johnson to overcharge clients for services. The complaint states that between 2012 and 2017, Weller authorized over 86 trades per month in approximately 80 WAM client accounts. Though the clients knew they would pay a one percent asset management, they were unaware that they would be charged the full-service commission on the stock trades, which ranged from $84 to $700 per trade.

Weller signed a consent order with the Massachusetts Secretary of State Office agreeing to pay a $300,000 fine. Stifel agreed to conduct a review of over 6,000 trades solicited by Weller and offer compensation for any trades deemed unsuitable. Timothy Johnson also signed a consent order agreeing to be on a heightened supervision, have all trades verified by a principal and allow auditing of ten percent of his accounts for the next three years, and limiting his securities business to the Harwich, Massachusetts branch.

Oftentimes brokerage firms can be held liable for the brokers’ misconduct if they failed to supervise them while registered at the firm. If you lost money investing with Francis Weller Jr. or Timothy Johnson you may be able to recover from them or Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc. Since 1998, the experienced attorneys at ChapmanAlbin LLC have been fighting for victims of investment fraud and broker misconduct. Call us today at 1-877-410-8172 for a free consultation.

Author: Jason T. Albin

Jason Albin is an Attorney and Partner at ChapmanAlbin, the investor rights law firm. He has represented hundreds of investors who have lost money due to broker misconduct, unsuitable investment advice and fraud.​ Jason also represents individuals in “whistleblower” suits filed against unscrupulous companies that try to defraud the US federal and state governments.

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