“My wife’s family matters which were fully disclosed to my employer, had absolutely nothing to do with the servicing of any of my client accounts, had nothing to do with me, and no client aside from this one’s attorney has ever complained about me in any fashion,” is what broker Joseph Whitney, of Mahwah, N.J., has to say about criminal charges brought against him by the Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Justice.
Starting life with Morgan Stanley in 2003 in the financial services industry, Whitney moved to UBS in 2009, as revealed by his BrokerCheck record. Thereafter, in May/ June 2020, he moved from UBS to Wedbush Securities which he left in February 2021.
A pending customer dispute from November 2020, seeking $2 million in damages, is also reflected on his Broker Check record where he has been accused by a client of breaking his fiduciary duty by asking him to invest in a project with his wife.
According to the charges filed by the attorney general, Whitney, along with co-conspirators that include his wife, her father, her brother, and one more unnamed person, defrauded two mortgage lenders and two investors of over $500K. The modus operandi included bogus real estate investments with the money being laundered through bank accounts run by three of the defendants.
While denying the allegations, in the broker comment section of the dispute, Whitney states, “The attorney’s assertion — unrelated in any way to his client’s profitable and well-managed accounts at UBS — is contrary to the fact that it was his client who asked my wife, a New Jersey licensed real estate broker, to form, invest in, and develop a residential real estate company many years after meeting and knowing her.”
The attorney has referred to the pending customer dispute on his record and alleged that Whitney “did not disclose that his wife and her family were not strangers to fraud schemes.”
The attorney general’s office has further advised that Whitney’s application to register as an agent and investment advisor of a broker-dealer has been blocked by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities on 30th January. That Whitney “engaged in dishonest and unethical practices in the securities business,” apart from violating UBS’ policy on prohibitions against selling away and on customer complaints, was taken into account while making the decision.
Whitney stands suspended by The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) as a result. The CFP Board has cited the charges against Whitney, advised by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office on 5th February 2021, while announcing the suspension.
According to NorthJersey.com, Whitney and his co-accused are facing the possibility of decades in prison.