Joseph M. Whitney of Mahwah, New Jersey, is no longer registered as a broker advisor. According to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority website BrokerCheck, he was an adviser to UBS from January 2009 to May 2020. After leaving UBS, he became a representative of Wedbush Securities in June 2020 and left the company in February, according to the broker-check website. His LinkedIn account says he still works at Wedbush. UBS and Wedbush did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.
On March 2, the CFP board filed a motion for an injunction and requested that the Disciplinary Ethics Commission (DEC) issue the injunction against Whitney, the panel said Wednesday. The board noted that Whitney was named as a defendant in a criminal case filed by the Office of Gangs and Organized Crime of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Justice, case number 0201S201000001, in which he was charged with first-degree conspiracy. The DEC determined that Whitney’s conduct posed a significant threat to the public and affected the reputation of the profession, and the board and Board of Mark granted the request, it said. The suspension order went into effect Tuesday.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced on February 5 that Whitney, 42, is one of five people charged with first-degree conspiracy to defraud two investors and two mortgage lenders of more than $500,000 through fraudulent real estate investments and launder the proceeds through bank accounts controlled by three of the defendants.
In a parallel lawsuit filed on January 30, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities and Exchange rejected Whitney’s application to register with the agency as an agent, investment advisor, agent, broker-dealer, citing conduct related to the criminal charges. The other defendants are Melanie Whitney, 42, Joseph’s wife; George Bussanich Sr., 62, of Park Ridge, N.J.; her father George Bussedanich, Jr., 41, of Saddle River, N.J.; and her brother Bruce Evanter, 73, of Mahwah.
The denial prevents him from working in the securities industry in New Jersey. In 2020, a UBS lawyer accused Whitney of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty for asking his client to invest in a project in which Whitney’s wife revealed that she and her family were no strangers to fraud programs, as the lawyer revealed in a broker check report. His client has asked for damages of up to $2 million and the case is pending, according to the report.
The lawyers’ claim had nothing to do with the way his client had been profitable in managing accounts at UBS, Whitney said in a statement to the publication. It contradicts the fact that it was his client who asked my wife, a licensed real estate agent in New Jersey, many years ago to set up, invest in and develop a residential real estate company before I met or knew her, “he said. My wife is a family matter and has been disclosed to my employer who manages my accounts and neither my client nor his client has ever complained to me in any way, “he added.