SEC sues Westport investor on claims of hidden fees
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued a Westport financial firm and its CEO, claiming clients were hit with nearly $800,000 in extra hidden fees and other charges on risky investments that resulted in losses of $1.2 million.
Westport Capital Markets has its office at 257 Riverside Ave. in Westport and is run by Christopher McClure, with the firm operating as an investment broker-dealer both for individuals and insitutional investors. McClure forwarded a Hearst Connecticut Media query to an attorney who stated McClure and his company will defend themselves against the SEC accusation.
According to the SEC, Westport Capital Markets generated hidden mark-ups by selling securities to client accounts from a proprietary brokerage account, with federal law requiring investment advisors to obtain client consent for such transactions. The SEC claims that Westport Capital Markets also pocketed mutual fund distribution fees without adequate disclosure to clients.
The SEC analyzed transactions that generated $1.7 million in advisory fees for Westport Capital Markets between the 2012 and 2015 fiscal years.
Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman