Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin today charged the brokerage firm A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. with dishonest and unethical conduct and failure to supervise a South Shore broker.
According to Galvin, broker Howard McHugh's aggressive pursuit of Boston Edison retirees resulted in their losing large chunks of their retirement money.
A spokeswoman for A.G. Edwards declined to comment.
The administrative complaint filed by the secretary’s securities division seeks more than $1 million in compensation for the retirees' losses and seeks a censure of A.G. Edwards, an administrative fine, and investigation costs
According to Galvin's office, A.G. Edwards initially defended McHugh’s trading in the face of complaints from several
retirees but has since paid out at least $400,000 to some victims.
“But rather than acknowledge the full extent of its wrongdoing, A.G. Edwards continues to ignore many of the other complaining victims,” Galvin's complaint said. “The losses sustained by those victims would have likely never occurred had A.G. Edwards exercised anything that resembled reasonable supervision of McHugh."
St. Louis-based A.G. Edwards is a subsidiary of a holding company owned by Wachovia Corp., a North Carolina-based financial services company.
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)