FINRA Bars John Anthony Waszolek for Improperly Appointing Himself Successor Trustee for Diminished Capacity Elder, Attempting to Inherit $1.8 Million

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FINRA barred former UBS Financial Services and Morgan Stanley broker John Anthony Waszolek of Scottsdale, Arizona for appointing himself successor trustee and attempting to collect a multi-million dollar inheritance from a deceased elderly client and Alzheimer's patient who had been with Waszolek for over 30 years.

FINRA OHO Disciplinary Proceeding #2012031181001

According to the OHO settlement, Waszolek in 2008 became aware that an 81-year-old client of his had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, memory loss and dementia. When Waszolek subsequently attempted to add himself as a beneficiary to the elderly client's trust, the client's estate planning attorney told Waszolek that she would not make him a residual beneficiary because a psychologist had concluded that the 81-year-old lacked the capacity to make such an informed decision. The original trust specified that upon her death, CB&T (a bank) was to serve as successor trustee while cash and property was to be distributed to several beneficiaries, including surviving family members, a church, and several other charities.

The original trust as entered into evidence did not specify Waszolek as either successor trustee or a beneficiary and in the Alzheimer's report, the psychologist explicitly wrote that the elderly client lacked testamentary capacity and was "completely unable to protect herself from exploitation."

Despite this, and even though UBS (where Waszolek was registered until 2009) and Morgan Stanley (2009-2012) both had policies and procedures prohibiting representatives from acting in fiduciary capacities without prior preapproval, Waszolek purportedly secured himself appointment as the elderly client's successor trustee and residual beneficiary without approval, in contravention to the original estate attorney's instructions, and in secrecy, as Waszolek allegedly told both UBS and Morgan Stanley on multiple occasions that he was not functioning as a fiduciary, such as successor trustee, even though he was.

The records show that after hearing two doctors diagnose the elderly client with Alzheimer's disease, being informed that she did not lack the testamentary capacity to modify the trust, and being rejected by the client's first estate planning attorney, Waszolek nonetheless visited a second estate planning attorney, at which time the client purportedly signed over $1.3 million to new beneficiary and successor trustee Waszolek, who had been the client's broker since the 1980s.

The findings state that Waszolek resigned from UBS the very next day after the trust amendment went into effect, transferring the account to Morgan Stanley. Waszolek had been with UBS since 1979.

The report indicates that when the client died in 2010, beneficiary Waszolek attempted to collect the funds (now valued at $1.8 million) from her estate, though his requests were repeatedly denied by Morgan Stanley, who subsequently reprimanded their broker.

Waszolek's was associated with Raymond James, also of Scottsdale, AZ, when FINRA permanently barred him from the industry, concluding that, "Waszolek took unfair advantage of [his eldlery client] by having [her] give Waszolek these roles and responsibilities when he knew of her declining mental condition and lack of testamentary capacity."

If you or a loved one has invested with former UBS/Morgan Stanley broker John Anthony Waszolek (aka "Anthony John Wszolek") or with any broker, financial adviser or other professional who has taken unfair advantage of an elderly client, Alzheimer's or dementia patient or any other compromised or incapacitated investor by inappropriately convincing the ailing client to effect an improper beneficiary appointment or otherwise execute a patently unfair and unwise financial move that has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.

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