Customers of Morgan Stanley Broker Michael Wagner Seek Over $20M in Damages

Atlanta Financial Advisor Accused of Using an Unsuitable Options Investment Strategy

Michael John Wagner, a longtime Morgan Stanley broker, is currently under scrutiny in the wake of recent customer disputes in which the claimants are requesting over $20M in damages. 

Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, Wagner has worked in the industry for 20 years. He has been a Morgan Stanley broker since 2012. Before that, he was a Merrill Lynch stockbroker and investment advisor.

Our broker misconduct attorneys are looking into other claims involving Morgan Stanley financial advisor, Michael Wagner. If you are one of his customers who sustained significant investment losses and you would like to explore your legal options, contact us today. 

Wagner is Accused of Using Unsuitable Investment Strategy 

There are three customer disputes noted for Michael Wagner in BrokerCheck, all of which were brought between November 2020 and November 2021. The claimants are accusing Wagner of using an options strategy that was either misrepresented and/or unsuitable.

While one of the customer disputes was denied, the other two remain pending: 

  • November 2021: While accusing Morgan Stanley registered representative Michael Wagner of employing an unsuitable options investment strategy, this customer is requesting $15,708,558.00.
  • November 2020: Alleging misrepresentations related to an options strategy, this customer is seeking $5,162,453.00 in damages. 

What is Morgan Stanley’s Responsibility if This Broker Engaged in Unsuitability?

It is a brokerage firm’s duty to properly supervise its registered representatives and their activities in customer accounts. When a failure to supervise enables broker negligence or misconduct, the broker-dealer can be held liable by the customers that suffered financial harm. 

Morgan Stanley has come under fire for its failure to properly supervise its brokers in the past. Not only has this resulted in significant investor losses, but also penalties by regulators. A couple of examples include: 

  • August 2020: Morgan Stanley Wealth Advisors was ordered to pay over $949K. This included a  $175K fine to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and more than $774K in restitution for the inadequate supervision of barred broker Kevin Gunnip. The former Texas financial advisor allegedly excessively traded in customers’ accounts, causing them to lose over $900K. 
  • June 2018: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that Morgan Stanley Smith Barney agreed to pay a $3.6M penalty. This was for its purported failure to detect and stop broker misconduct. This included the activities of ex-Morgan Stanley financial advisor Barry F. Connell, who misappropriated around $7M from four customers’ accounts. Connell served time in prison for investor fraud. 

Seasoned Securities Fraud Lawyers Representing Investors Against Morgan Stanley

Broker-dealers will often have a legal team representing them against customer claims. This is why you need your own team of experienced securities fraud attorneys working for you and protecting your legal rights. SSEK Law Firm represents investors against Morgan Stanley and other broker-dealers. Call us at (800) 259-9010 today.

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