The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has suspended Middleton, Massachusetts broker Bruce C. Worthington from the securities industry in all capacities following allegations that he misappropriated investor funds.
The Massachusetts Securities Division filed an Administrative Complaint against Worthington on February 21, 2019, alleging that between 2006 and 2018 Worthington (while a registered representative at Commonwealth Financial Network), diverted funds from the account of a retiree by falsely representing that the investor’s funds were being placed in legitimate alternative investments.
Instead, according to the allegations, Worthington diverted $97,054.59 of the customers’ funds for his own personal use and benefit. Making matters worse, the complaint states that Worthington created false documents to convince the investor what his diverted funds were invested in laddered bonds and a structured note. He also produced another statement showing that the investor’s funds were held in a separate account away from Commonwealth and had increased in value to $113,439.00. The Massachusetts Securities Division found that no such bonds ever existed and that the statements were a pure cover-up.
According to the allegations, Worthington preyed on the trust of a vulnerable retiree with very limited investment knowledge. As Worthington experienced worsening personal financial crises, he made further efforts to conceal the fraud by creating additional documents showing the “investment” to have grown in value to $140,000. He also repeatedly assured the investor that the funds were safe and secure, but not yet available for withdrawal.
Worthington failed to appear before the Division in response to a subpoena and also failed to respond to a FINRA request for information, resulting in a FINRA regulatory action against him. FINRA’s regulatory action notes that his current suspension will automatically become a full bar from the industry effective March 11, 2019 if Worthington fails to request termination of the suspension.
Worthington’s FINRA BrokerCheck report also reveals that he was terminated by Founders Financial Securities, LLC on September 20, 2018 after the allegations that he misappropriated client funds came to light.
If you or someone you know lost money as a client of Bruce Worthington or Commonwealth Financial Network due to unsuitable, misrepresented, or unauthorized transactions, please call the Frankowski Firm at 888.741.7503 or fill out this contact form.