Richard Michael Wesselt (also known as Rich Wesselt and as Richard M. Wesselt), of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, a stockbroker formerly registered with Fortune Financial Services and The ON Equity Sales Company (ONESCO), is referenced in a regulatory action by the State of Maryland resulting in the revocation of his stockbroker license in the state. Case No. 20200454 (December 21, 2020).

Maryland’s revocation of Wesselt’s stockbroker license comes after Wesselt was barred by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) from associating with any member in any capacity. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018059035701 (November 9, 2020).

According to the AWC, between March of 2014 and September of 2017, the investment strategies promoted by Wesselt involved customers purchasing whole life insurance policies and variable annuities. Customers were first told to sell their retirement savings and then buy variable annuities. Subsequently, customers were informed to withdrawal funds from their annuity to buy whole life insurance policies and to take loans from those policies to pay expenses.

The AWC states that customers were harmed through being forced to pay costly penalties and fees. Surrender charges amounted to $378,452.00 alone. Customers were also harmed through the loss or depletion of retirement savings and forfeiture of benefits. Wesselt made $686,025.00 in commissions through selling the annuities. He violated FINRA Rules 2010, 2330(b), and 2111 by making unsuitable recommendations to seventy-eight customers of ON Equity Sales Company.

FINRA also found that Wesselt made customers sign blank or incomplete documents, including annuity disclosure forms, new account forms, and documents that permitted funds to be withdrawn from customers’ annuities. He violated FNIRA Rules 2010 and 4511 because of this.

FINRA Public Disclosure shows that Wesselt has been identified in twenty additional customer initiated investment related disputes regarding allegations of his harmful activities while employed by securities broker dealers, including SA Stone Wealth Management, Sterne Agee Financial Services Inc., and ON Equity Sales Company. On January 17, 2020, a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim concerning Wesselt’s conduct was resolved for $56,250.00 in damages based upon accusations that Wesselt made misrepresentations and bad recommendations to the customer regarding insurance and annuity products. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-02233.

Wesselt is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related written complaint that settled for $18,000.00 on October 23, 2020, based upon allegations of Wesselt misrepresenting life insurance products to the customer relating to retirement building and college funding. On December 21, 2020, a different customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim involving Wesselt’s activities was resolved for $80,000.00 in damages founded on accusations of an unsuitable investment strategy used by Wesselt when he was associated with SA Stone Wealth Management. FINRA Arbitration No. 20-00696.

On March 24, 2021, an additional customer initiated investment related civil action regarding Wesselt’s conduct was filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The lawsuit settled for $50,000.00 in damages based upon allegations of unsuitable investments by Wesselt while he was registered with Sterne Agee Financial Services. Civil Action No. 2020-11413.

Wesselt is also referenced in a customer initiated investment related complaint which was resolved for $26,621.21 in damages on July 26, 2021, based upon accusations of negligent representation and poor advice by Wesselt as it pertained to the customer’s insurance purchases during the time that Wesselt was associated with ON Equity Sales Company.

Wesselt was registered with ON Equity Sales Company between March 14, 2014, and September 6, 2017, and registered with Fortune Financial Services between September 5, 2017, and November 9, 2020.

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