Investor Alert – Former Wachovia Securities Brokers William Harrison and Eddie Sawyers (d/b/a “Harrison/Sawyers Financial Services)


Two Wachovia Securities brokers sold 42 unsophisticated Wachovia clients supposedly “can’t-miss” investments that resulted in $8 million of losses, according to a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, as reported in an InvestmentNews article titled “Ex-Wachovia brokers accused of defrauding client.” Most of the victims were over 50 years of age and a number of them were retired and living on fixed incomes.

The SEC complaint alleges that, in 2007 and 2008, William Harrison, 33, of Pilot Mountain, N.C., and Eddie Sawyers, 45, of Mount Airy, N.C., misrepresented and omitted to disclose material facts and risks about the investments, and guaranteed returns of 35 percent while using the investors’ money to trade securities in risky online deals.

Harrison, and Sawyers operated a business venture called Harrison/Sawyers Financial Services, which they said was guaranteed to make money regardless of market conditions. But they misrepresented the risk of their plans as well as what they were actually doing with clients’ money, according to the complaint.

Harrison and Sawyers set up online brokerage accounts in some clients’ names, while pooling money from other clients into accounts set up in the name of Harrison’s wife and in a joint account held by the Harrisons. They traded securities using their clients’ personal accounts, designating Harrison’s wife as each client’s agent, according to the SEC.

They allegedly told one client that their money had “maxed out” at a 35 percent return, when it actually lost $84,000.

“Instead of safeguarding their customers’ investments through suitable investments and prudent recommendations, these two brokers crossed the line with a scheme that victimized unsuspecting investors,” William Hicks, SEC associate regional director for enforcement in its Atlanta office, was quoted as saying.

Harrison resigned from Wachovia, and allegedly “confessed his wrongdoing, stating that he had ‘misdirected’ $6.6 million of his clients’ money,” according to the SEC.

Page Perry is an Atlanta-based law firm with over 125 years collective experience representing investors in securities-related litigation and arbitration. While past results are not indicative of future success, Page Perry’s attorneys have recovered over $1,000,000 for clients on more than 40 occasions. Page Perry’s attorneys are actively involved in assisting both institutional and individual investors in recouping their investment losses. For further information, please contact us.