Former Broker Matthew Maczko has been Barred Permanently by FINRA
Maczko is reported to have earned nearly $600K in commissions by excessively trading an elderly client’s account
After almost 30 years in the securities industry, Matthew Maczko’s career is over. Earlier this month, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) permanently barred him from acting as a broker due to allegations of churning.
FINRA found that between January of 2009 and April of 2016, Maczko made excessive trades in four accounts of a customer, who was in her late 80s when he began. These accounts – which had a value of about $3 million – were controlled by Maczko, and during that time span earned him almost $600K in commissions. The client ended up paying another $84K in fees, and lost nearly $400K through Maczko’s investments.It was also discovered that given his client’s age, income needs, and risk tolerance, Maczko’s level of trading was unsuitable, which would mean he acted contrary to the client’s goals or financial situation, and thus primarily to enrich himself. Excessive trading – also known as churning – is just that: a way for a broker or firm to benefit while an investor potentially loses a lot of money in commissions and fees.
It was also discovered that given his client’s age, income needs, and risk tolerance, Maczko’s level of trading was unsuitable, which would mean he acted contrary to the client’s goals or financial situation, and thus primarily to enrich himself. Excessive trading – also known as churning – is just that: a way for a broker or firm to benefit while an investor potentially loses a lot of money in commissions and fees.
Maczko wouldn’t admit or deny the findings, though he did agree to the sanctions. It’s possible that he will be facing additional claims as well. In September of 2016, Maczko was fired from Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC in relation to the above allegations. And, according to FINRA, after his discharge he spoke to two senior customers, even though he denied doing so in on-the-record testimony.
In addition to excessive trading, the fact that Maczko’s client was of an advanced age means the broker possibly engaged in elder financial fraud. Maczko is alleged to have taken advantage of the lack of oversight and awareness of his client.
This wasn’t the first time Maczko was accused of improper activity. He’s had numerous customer disputes levied against, including one for unauthorized trades that took place over a period of four years. In that case, the client was awarded damages of $1M.
Prior to working at Wells Fargo in Oak Brook, IL, Maczko was registered with Wachovia Securities, LLC from 2008 to 2009 and worked for Paine Webber for 20 years before that, both also in Oak Brook, IL.
For more information on Matthew Maczko, his work history, and the allegations against him, you can read FINRA’s BrokerCheck report.
If you suspect you – or possibly a family member – were the victim of elder fraud at the hands of a broker, you could be eligible to receive damages. To find out, contact a securities arbitration attorney at the Silver Law Group. Scott Silver is the current chair of the American Trial Lawyers Association Securities and Financial Fraud Group and our expert legal team represents clients in securities law arbitration cases and victims of investment fraud to help them recover lost funds and get a sense of justice.
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