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Hollywood, Florida Wells Fargo Representative Barred for Converting Client Funds

Alejandro Torres of Hollywood, Florida submitted a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) to The Department of Enforcement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for allegedly converting client funds, engaging in unapproved outside business activities and submitting material false information on a questionnaire to his broker dealer.

Torres entered the securities industry in 2009 and has been associated with several FINRA-regulated broker-dealers since. In January 2013, Torres became associated with FINRA-regulated broker-dealer Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC (Wells Fargo) as a registered representative.  On January 17, 2014 Torres was terminated as Wells Fargo filed a Uniform Termination notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5).

FINRA found that between January 2014 and July 2014, Torres converted at least $59,600 from a Wells Fargo customer. In December 2013, Torres went to a client for the purpose of partnering in a start-up venture known as Towers Investments LLC (Towers). The client, a 64-year-old widow, agreed to enter the partnership venture. Both Torres and the client owned fifty percent of Towers.  On or about December 19, 2013, the client provided Torres with a check as a capital investment in Towers in the amount of $75,000. FINRA alleged that Torres, after depositing the check into a checking account he had exclusive control of, used at least $59,600 of the funds for personal using including car payments and meals. Torres arranged for the Towers bank account statements to be sent to him rather than his client, and in doing so, concealed his misconduct.

Additionally, while associated with Wells Fargo around December 2013, Torres allegedly arranged for Towers to be formed as a limited liability company under Florida law. The company’s Articles of organization filed with the State of Florida identified Torres as the managing member of Towers. Torres failed to notify Wells Fargo of his outside business activities in violation of FINRA Rules 3270 and 2010. FINRA also found that Torres submitted an outside business activities questionnaire to Wells Fargo in January 2014 and falsely stated that he was the sole owner of Towers. In November 2014, FINRA sent a letter to Torres requesting documents and information concerning any purported expenses related to Towers and the reason for its expenditures. Torres failed to provide any of the requested documents and information.

Without admitting or denying the FINRA findings, Torres agreed to the sanctions and was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $59,600 plus interest.

Stockbrokers have been known to engage in many types of practices which violate industry and firm rules, practices, and procedures. In order to protect customers from stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require broker-dealers like Wells Fargo to not only establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system but enforce their rules, policies and procedures. The implementation of the rules require supervisors to monitor employees to ensure they comply with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, and the firms, such as Wells Fargo own policies and procedures. If broker dealers and/or their supervisors do not establish, implement and enforce these protective measures, they may be liable to investors for damages which flow from the misconduct. As a result, investors who have suffered losses because of their stockbroker’s unlawful or prohibited conduct can file a claim to recover damages against broker dealers like Wells Fargo, which should consistently oversee its employees in order to prevent stockbroker misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Wells Fargo investment account due to your stockbroker’s misconduct? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against stockbrokers for unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentations, and/or other unauthorized and prohibited conduct.

The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 35 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities, and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, send Mr. Pearce an email at pearce@rwpearce.com, and/or visit our website at www.secatty.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.