Massachusetts securities regulator William Galvin on Monday charged a former broker with defrauding four of his former elderly clients, transferring nearly $500,000 of their assets to his personal and family accounts without their consent.
The administrative complaint against John Michael Babiarz of Peabody, Mass., seeks a full accounting and return to the investors of their losses, a permanent bar from the securities business in Massachusetts and an administrative fine.
Babiarz worked for three broker-dealers in Massachusetts between 2004 and September 2011 when he was terminated from one as a result of customer complaints that he had misrepresented the features of a certificate of deposit, the Massachusetts Securities Division said in a statement. He has not been registered with the Massachusetts Securities Division since then.
“This case is an egregious example of senior financial abuse, the sort of abuse my office is determined to root out in the securities industry,” Secretary Galvin (right) said in the release.
The complaint charges that Babiarz told the defrauded clients — in their 70s and 80s — after September 2011 that he had become a broker-dealer agent of Fidelity Brokerage Services, but the address he gave was a place that rents out corporate office space at One International Place in Boston.
“Babiarz created multiple Fidelity accounts for a 72-year-old Boston woman, a 75-year-old Peabody man, an 81-year-old Swampscott man and an 83-year-old Danvers man. The accounts were opened in the victims’ names but with Babiarz’s contact information,” the Massachusetts Securities Division says.