What You Need to Know
- The former rep was arrested in October in the theft of over $2.86 million from five clients.
- He used the funds to pay for his gambling and personal expenses, including luxury gifts, DOJ alleged.
- The eye doctor says the rep took nearly $900,000 of her money and then bought a house.
A New Jersey Superior Court judge has awarded $909,000 to one of the victims of the former Wells Fargo broker who was arrested in October and charged with stealing over $2.86 million from five clients to pay for personal expenses.
One of those clients, eye doctor Kenette Sohmer, filed a separate civil suit against ex-Wells Fargo rep Kenneth A. Welsh and his wife, Monica Welsh, on Aug. 26, in New Jersey Superior Court.
Sohmer alleged in the complaint that while serving as Sohmer’s advisor, the now-former wirehouse broker withdrew almost $1.9 million without authorization from a brokerage account she maintained at Wells Fargo and transferred the funds to recipients unknown to her in 76 transactions from December 2018 through March 2021.
Sohmer alleged that nearly $250,000 had been withdrawn from an IRA she maintained at Wells Fargo in eight transactions from January through August 2020, also without authorization.
The complaint also alleged that, on May 1, 2019, Guardian Title Services acted as closing agent on the defendants’ $900,000 purchase of a home in River Edge, New Jersey.
On or about April 30, 2019, the defendants converted to their own use $898,000 of the plaintiff’s money, according to the complaint. As a result of that conversion of the plaintiff’s property, Sohmer was “damaged in the amount of not less than $898,000,” she alleged.
On Feb. 4, Judge Lisa Perez Friscia granted $909,000 to Sohmer and the plaintiff’s motion requesting that a constructive trust be imposed on the defendants’ River Edge home.
Friscia, however, denied the plaintiff’s motion to transfer possession of that property to her for the purpose of selling it.
Welsh’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.