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Wedbush/Hilltop Securities Broker Mark Augusta Accused of Fraud, Financial Elder Abuse

A flurry of recent customer disputes filed against Southern California broker Mark Fred Augusta, formerly of Wedbush Securities in Solana Beach and presently of Hilltop Securities in Del Mar, CA, allege that Augusta engaged in fraudulent conduct, including elder abuse, which purportedly caused his customers to suffer damages in the multi-million dollar range.

According to Mark Fredrick Augusta's BrokerCheck file (CRD #1333913), the San Diego-area stockbroker voluntarily resigned from Wedbush in 2015 after a customer complaint was filed against him; a May 2015 arbitration panel decision against representative Augusta granted a customer $1,797,054 in damages after the customer alleged Augusta's recommended investments were unsuitable for the customer's age and investment objectives, with additional allegations of financial elder abuse, constructive fraud, common law fraud, unjust enrichment, fraud by misrepresentation/omissions, and breach of fiduciary duty.

According to the award, the cause of action related to investments in long-term municipal bonds and structured certificate of deposits (CDs), including Citigroup FDG Medium Term, Lloyds TSB Bank Steepner Note, SG Structured Products Medium Term, Citibank NA Prin Prot MLCD Quarterly, JP Morgan Chase Bank NA Columbus Ohio CD, JP Morgan Chase Bank NA 30-year US Dollar, and United CCMNTY Bank Blairsville Georgia CD.

At the time, the FINRA arbitration panel found that Wedbush and Augusta, who is also registered as an investment advisor, subjected his clients to elder abuse and permitted unauthorized trading in the customers' account, finding that both Augusta and his firm Wedbush engaged in improper conduct.

Several additional like complaints against Augusta remain pending, while others have settled. This brings the total number of disclosures in Augusta's record to 20.

Augusta previously weathered a storm of awarded, arbitrated, and settled customer disputes alleging fraud in 2000 and 2001 when Augusta was affiliated with Miller & Schroeder Financial in Minnesota. Following this series of claims, Augusta relocated to Southern California and Piper Jaffray & Co. of La Jolla, where he remained until joining Stone & Youngberg of San Diego in 2006, leaving that firm for Wedbush in 2011.

In addition to the above, Augusta's file also indicates employment with Southwest Securities of San Diego.

If you have invested with Hilltop Securities broker Mark Fredrick Augusta in the San Diego area, or invested with Augusta during his association with Wedbush Securities in Solana Beach, and experienced losses or other damages due to unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentation or omissions of material facts, or other improper or fraudulent placements in inappropriate and harmful products, please call our experienced FINRA arbitration attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.

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