A former Michigan broker has been charged with embezzling funds from his clients for investments and diverting it for his own use, reports ThinkAdvisor.
45-year-old Jaime Westenbarger, the founder of Forest Hills Financial, is facing seven criminal counts filed by Michigan’s attorney general.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Kent County District Court, Westenbarger stole $260,000 from two of his clients in 2018 and used the funds to pay off credit cards, gamble at various casinos, and purchase items for himself and his girlfriend. The court documents stated that Westenbarger admitted to clients that he converted the funds and tried to get them to sign a document saying the money was a loan.
He has been charged with embezzlement, conducting a criminal enterprise, and using computers to commit a crime. Westenbarger is due in court for preliminary hearings next week.
He was previously barred from the securities industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Westenbarger was discharged from his most recent employer, Securities America, for violating the firm’s policies regarding borrowing funds from clients.
The attorneys at Lewitas Hyman are uniquely qualified to represent individual investors in investment-related claims against financial professionals and their firms. Our attorneys understand the financial and emotional ramifications of investment losses caused by financial professionals. If you have suffered investment losses as a result of misconduct by your financial professional or their firms, contact Lewitas Hyman at (844) 651-2641 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.