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Ex-Mutual of Omaha Advisor Barred in State

May 16, 2019

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions has permanently barred a former Mutual of Omaha financial advisor from getting a securities license in the state, according to news reports.

From 2013 to 2018, Ed Matthes allegedly misappropriated at least $1.03 million from six clients’ variable annuities, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes.

He did so by getting them to authorize him to act on their behalf, putting his personal checking account data on their annuities contracts and then making withdrawals to his account without their knowledge, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions says, according to the paper. He also made bogus account summary forms on Mutual of Omaha letterhead, the Journal Sentinel writes citing the DFI.

And from June 2013 to March 2019, Matthes allegedly got at least 20 people to invest around $1.37 million in fixed investments he claimed were offered through Mutual of Omaha but in fact never existed, according to the order cited by the paper. He allegedly used the funds to cover credit cards and mortgage payments, student loans, child support and more, including $80,000 worth of goods from Tiffany & Co., the order says, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Matthes was a registered representative of Mutual of Omaha Investor Services from March 2012 to March 25, 2019 and an investment adviser representative of Mutual of Omaha from February 2014 to March 25, 2019, the paper writes.

Matthes can request a hearing within 30 days of getting served the order, and failure to do so makes the summary order final, according to the Journal Sentinel. But the Oconomowoc Police Department, after receiving around a dozen complaints about Matthes, has passed the investigation over to the FBI, the paper writes.

In March, Matthes agreed to be permanently barred by Finra, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Matthes first registered as a broker in 1996 and worked at three different firms before joining Mutual of Omaha in 2012, according to his BrokerCheck profile.

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He has 13 customer disputes on his record dating back to 2005, with one of them denied, two settled and the rest still pending, according to BrokerCheck.

In addition to getting discharged from Mutual of Omaha this March, Matthes voluntarily resigned from MML Investor Services in April 2006 following allegations by the state of Missouri over unsuitable variable annuity sales, although Matthes writes in the broker comment section that the decision “was not based on any legal actions or restrictions.”

In March of that year, Missouri’s Office of the Secretary of State settled with Matthes for $7,308 over the allegedly unsuitable annuity sale, according to BrokerCheck.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article cited in this story, click here.