The Massachusetts Secretary of State's Securities Division has charged an investment adviser with misappropriating nearly $100,000 from a 65-year-old retired landscaper.
Bruce Worthington of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, devised an "elaborate plan" to take advantage of his client from 2006 to 2018, according to an administrative complaint filed Feb. 21, 2019, and reported by The Salem News.
"Worthington continued this scheme for years by taking advantage of his customer's trust and limited knowledge regarding his own investments," the complaint said.
According to the complaint, Worthington diverted funds from his client's brokerage account for his own personal use and benefit. The client from Peabody, Massachusetts worked as a landscaper and groundskeeper until retiring in 2016.
The complaint accuses Worthington of withdrawing nearly $100,000 from his client's account from 2006 to 2008 and convincing him the money was being used for legitimate investments. He reportedly even produced false documents showing the money had been invested in bonds and had generated a substantial profit.
The article states that a series of phone calls from 2011 to 2018, Worthington continually assured his client that his funds were safe and secure. He also also failed to tell his client that he had been terminated by his employer. He also failed to appear before the Securities Division when subpoenaed in December 2018.
Secretary of State William Galvin's office is seeking restitution, censure, a cease-and-desist order, an administrative fine, and an order permanently barring Worthington from registering as an investment adviser or broker-dealer agent in Massachusetts.
The full enforcement action is available here.