Stories like these make us angry. Unfortunately, headlines like the one above are all too common. The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reports a 39-year-old “financial advisor” is headed to prison after stealing money from a physically and mentally disabled client.
Jason Wade Cox went from working at IHOP to becoming a stockbroker. In 2010 he was hired by Edward Jones and worked at their Upper Arlington, Ohio branch until terminated in 2014. His career in the financial industry was short-lived and anything but good.
In 2014 while at Edward Jones, Cox was fired after a client accused him of unauthorized trading. His employer settled with the client and fired Cox. That apparently didn’t stop his bad behavior, however.
When investigated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in January of 2015, Jason Cox refused to cooperate leading to him being barred permanently from the securities industry.
The Columbus Dispatch and court records also reveal that Cox stole thousands of dollars from a disabled client. Jodene Beaver is a woman suffering from both physical and mental impairments. Although 56 years old, her father continued to care for her until his death in 2012. Knowing that he was advancing in years and would not be able to care for his daughter forever, Jodene’s father selected Jason Cox to take over her financial accounts.
Instead of safeguarding Jodene’s meager savings and inheritance, Cox apparently blew the money on gambling. When the inheritance ran out, Cox coerced Jodene to sell her condo and move into an infested apartment in a crime-ridden neighborhood.
Luckily, an alert teller at Chase bank noticed that Cox was constantly withdrawing money from Jodene’s account and in withdrawals of just under $10,000. Federal anti-money laundering regulations require cash transactions of $10,000 or more be reported. Banks, however, are still required to report suspicious transactions including multiple transactions just under the $10,000 threshold.
Unfortunately, for Jodene Beaver, Cox was able to draw down her savings until she had just $3 in her account. Jodene, who often works as a store greeter, faces the rest of her life with no inheritance or savings.
And what about Jason Cox? He was arrested by special agents of the Internal Revenue Service and ultimately convicted of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Last week he was sentenced to 5 years in prison followed by 3 years of extended supervision.
At his sentencing, Cox told the court that a gambling addiction caused him to steal. In his words, “I know they [Jodene and her family] have to be thinking I’m the worst person in the world. But I’m not. I’m compassionate.”
Jodene’s aunt, Patricia Ziska, disagreed. “It’s disgusting and pathetic that someone could be so heartless,” Ziska told the court.
The sentencing guidelines in this case called for a sentence of approximately 3 to 4 years. Cox’s lawyer argued for a sentence of 12 months and 1 day (effectively an 10 and ½ month sentence). Prosecutors, however, asked for an above guideline sentence because Cox’s actions “literally left her facing starvation and homelessness.”
Jodene was apparently not Cox’s only victim. Court records reveal that Cox attempted to coerce another individual to “lend” him $20,000. Cox spun a wild tale of needing the money to pay a ransom for his niece who had been kidnapped. Instead, he needed the money to feed his casino gambling addiction.
Prosecutors also say that while working as a minister, Cox was arrested for stealing $35,000 from the church that employed him. The charges were later dropped but prosecutors say that Cox never paid the church restitution that he had promised.
FINRA records indicate that another individual has made a claim against Edward Jones for conduct that occurred while Cox worked there. We don’t know if this claim relates to Jodene Beaver or yet another victim.
Fraud recovery claims against Cox are probably doomed to fail. Any money he had was spent on gambling. When he is released from prison, he will be lucky to even get his old job at IHOP back. The brokerage firm that employed Cox, however, is probably liable for Jodene’s fraud recovery claims.
FINRA and SEC rules say that brokerage firms have a duty to supervise their employees and agents. If Cox was committing his crimes while on the clock for Edward Jones or if the crimes relate to investing, the firm may be liable.
If you have claims against a stockbroker, dishonest lawyer or other professional, speak with one of our fraud recovery lawyers today. The consultation is free and confidential. For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (414) 704-6731 (direct).
MahanyLaw – America’s Fraud Recovery Lawyers