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Former Wells Fargo Representative Barred for Mismanaging Client’s Will

Wonnie Short of Nashville, Tennessee submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Department of Enforcement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly failing to ensure that a Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, (Wells Fargo) customer received the funds they were due from an annuity.

Between November 1996 and November 2011, Mr. Short was registered with Wells Fargo.  In October 2006, while Short was registered with Wells Fargo, a firm customer executed a will naming Mr. Short as executor. When the customer passed away in November 2008, Mr. Short petitioned the court and was appointed executor of the client’s estate. As executor, Mr. Short facilitated the pay out on three of the client’s annuities. For one of the annuities, the client’s estate was a 10% beneficiary and a local foundation, which was also a Wells Fargo customer, was a 90% beneficiary.

According to FINRA, following the customer’s death, Mr. Short notified annuity company of the client’s death and sent in the necessary paperwork to claim the money. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Short received a check for 100% of the annuity’s death benefit, rather than the 10% to which he was entitled. As a result, Mr. Short received $30,000 to which he was not entitled.

By failing to ensure that the foundation received the funds from the client’s annuity. Short violated NASD Rules 2330 and 2110 and FINRA Rule 2010. Without admitting or denying the FINRA allegations, Mr. Short agreed to the sanctions and was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.

FINRA rules require brokerage firms to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system to protect customers from the risks associated with investing. The implementation of the rules requires supervisors to monitor their employees to ensure compliance with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, as well as the brokerage firm’s own policies and procedures. If broker-dealers and their supervisors fail to establish and implement these protective measures, they may be held liable to account holders for investment losses which stem from their employees’ misconduct. Therefore, investors who have suffered losses due to a brokerage firm’s failure to supervise the unsuitable recommendations of its representatives can bring forth claims to recover damages against firms, like Wells Fargo, which have a duty to supervise employees in order to protect their customers’ interests.

Have you suffered losses in your Wells Fargo account due to a broker failing to ensure you received your funds? 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 Wells Fargo stockbrokers who may have engaged in misconduct and caused investors losses.

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 visit our website, www.secatty.com, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at pearce@rwpearce.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.