Wedbush has tapped Phillip Fritz Frink, the former president of First Washington, to be vice president for investments in its Seattle office. But the hiring of Frink, 75, who has almost a half-century of financial services experience, comes as FINRA considers a case questioning his supervision of a former employee at First Washington.
Concerns stem from the case of Richard A. Finger Jr., who pleaded guilty in federal court in November 2011 to wire fraud. Finger was accused of defrauding clients at First Washington and his own firm, Black Diamond, by making unsuitable investments in high-risk options, taking undisclosed commissions and sending out fraudulent account statements to hide his activities. He is currently serving a four-year prison term at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Ore. Soon after Fingers guilty plea, nearly $10 million in claims related to his conduct were filed with FINRA by at least two investors. Those claims name Frink, who was one of the supervisors at First Washington, and 11 others.
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