September 12, 2011

Wedbush and Former Broker Ordered to Pay Investor $2.9M by FINRA

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel has ordered Wedbush Securities and one of its former brokers to pay $2.9 million in damages and fees to an elderly investor who allegedly fell victim to a faulty investment scheme. The founder Edward Wedbush, and broker Debbie Michelle Saleh were ordered to pay $2,865,885 in damages. The victim of this securities case, Rick Cooper, continued working with Debbie Michelle Saleh, who previously served as his mother’s broker, after she moved to Wedbush from Wachovia Securities LLC in 2004, stated Lorie Konish in an August 31, 2011, article in On Wall Street.

Cooper’s attorney alleges, Saleh sent him false monthly account statements while conducting unauthorized transactions and forging Cooper’s signature. That allegedly included buying unsuitable variable annuities products and selling them, then subsequently buying more unsuitable products.

Konish writes that while Saleh profited from fees and commissions from those transactions, funds in Cooper’s accounts ultimately dwindled to less than a third of the $1.86 million displayed in account statements.

It was noted in a strongly worded Aug. 26 decision, the FINRA arbitration panel concluded that Saleh intentionally misrepresented information about Cooper’s investments while making unauthorized redemptions or withdrawals.

“The panel determined that Respondent Saleh’s conduct was premeditated, egregious and unconscionable and part of a plan or scheme to defraud her customers,” the FINRA panel wrote in its decision. “Respondent Saleh’s conduct certainly borders on criminal misconduct, if not actually elevating her actions to actual criminal misconduct.”

Wedbush fought against the charges in the arbitration, arguing that the variable annuities sold to Cooper were suitable and that the firm’s supervision was adequate.

That supervision was not good enough, Cooper’s lawyer said, as the firm did not promptly respond to a Dec. 2007 letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission following an investigation on Saleh.

Saleh stepped down from her post at Wedbush in March, 2009. She was permanently barred from serving in the securities industry by FINRA in August, 2009. Her registration records show that she has also previously been named in other cases involving annuities she sold to customers.

The On Wall Street article reports that the $2.9 million award includes special damages for emotional distress, including $500,000 to be paid by Saleh, $300,000 by Wedbush and $200,000 by Wedbush Securities founder and President Edward Wedbush.

Including interest, the total award totals more than $3 million.

Securities Attorney, Lars Soreide, of Soreide Law Group, PLLC, has represented clients nationwide. If you feel you have become a victim of stock/securities loss, call a Securities Arbitration Lawyer for a free consultation on how to potentially recover your losses.  To speak with an attorney, call 888-760-6552, or visit

Soreide Law Group, PLLC., representing investors nationwide before FINRA  the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Recent Posts

February 25, 2024
PFS Broker Michael Archimede Sanctioned, Involved In Investor Complaint

Investors might have sustained losses due to Michael Archimede [CRD: 5701306, Waukesha, Wisconsin], according to disclosures of regulatory sanctions and an investment dispute on Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck. Archimede worked for PFS Investments Inc. in Waukesha, Wisconsin, from 2010 to 2023. Continue reading to learn more about the specific allegations made against Archimede. […]

February 24, 2024
SEC Brings Misappropriation Charges Against Jesus Rodriguez

Soreide Law Group is looking into possible investor claims on behalf of those who incurred losses through Jesus Rodriguez [CRD: 4888685, El Paso, Texas]. Rodriguez was previously registered as both a financial adviser and a securities broker, with past affiliations including Morgan Stanley in El Paso, Texas, where he was registered from June 1, 2009, […]

February 23, 2024
Daniel Snodgrass Disclosed FINRA Suspension And Client Disputes

Investors may have encountered losses due to Daniel Stephen Snodgrass [CRD: 4083817, Cherry Hill, New Jersey], as indicated by disclosures on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck. Snodgrass worked as both a financial advisor and securities broker with BCG Securities Inc. in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, from March 6, 2017, to July 18, 2023. […]

Contact us Nationwide USA
2401 E. Atlantic Blvd., Suite 305, Pompano Beach, FL 33062
Helping clients recover money across the USA
Copyright © 2022 Soreide Law Group, PLLC  |  All Rights Reserved
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram