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FAs Claim Unpaid Wages Following Owner’s Suicide

August 8, 2017

The recent suicide of the owner of Integrated Wealth Management has left the firm’s financial advisors in the lurch, according to a court petition cited by the Desert Sun.

Jim Casey, the firm’s owner, committed suicide May 1 in his Palm Springs, Calif., home, the paper reports. According to the company’s now-disabled website, Integrated Wealth Management had more than $1 billion overseen by 31 employees across five offices as of 2014, the Desert Sun writes. Several advisors are now seeking $800,000 in unpaid wages and commissions and want to force the Palm Desert, Calif., advice firm into bankruptcy because it can’t cover basic obligations like rent, the paper writes.

Moreover, two recent lawsuits against the firm and Casey’s conduct prior to his death suggest “a pattern of misappropriation,” the advisors said in a court filing cited by the Desert Sun.

Lawyers representing the firm in the bankruptcy petition didn’t respond to the paper’s requests for comment.

The advisors also allege that leaving the firm under the control of Casey’s husband, Anthony Pisano, a flight attendant, creates a conflict of interest because he’s a benefactor of Casey’s estate, according to the paper. Pisano and lawyers on Casey’s estate did not respond to the Desert Sun’s requests for comment.

Casey allegedly took out a $300,000 payday loan a day before his suicide, financial advisor Mark Hayek said in a signed declaration cited by the paper. Casey first deposited the funds into a company bank account but then moved them out, and the firm is now paying $1,700 a day in loan charges for the unaccounted-for money, Hayek said, according to the Desert Sun.

Integrated Wealth Management also faces a lawsuit filed in 2015 by a client who accuses Casey of using $3 million of her money to invest in unprofitable film ventures, the paper writes. The firm also faces a federal lawsuit filed three weeks before Casey’s death, alleging inappropriate investment of a pension fund, according to the Desert Sun.

Casey allegedly “surreptitiously” moved $7.1 million of the fund’s assets into an annuity that paid him 5% commission, among other allegations, according to the paper.

The cases are ongoing.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Desert Sun article cited in this story, click here.