Articles Tagged with Wells Fargo

Elizabeth Ann Guarino of East Meadow, New York submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which Guarino was fined and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for alleged unsuitable recommendations and unauthorized transactions in violation of FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010.

From May 2008 until November 2017, Elizabeth Ann Guarino was registered with Wells Fargo as a General Securities Representative. According to FINRA, Guarino recommended that an elderly customer invest $85,000 in oil and natural gas limited partnerships that were speculative securities transactions. The FINRA findings stated that the partnerships’ earnings were inadequate to cover fixed charges and proceeds raised from the preferred securities would be applied to reduce outstanding debt. As a result of declining oil and gas prices, the company filed for bankruptcy and the customer sustained loses of over $150,000. The firm compensated the customer for her losses and filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (“Form U5”) terminating Guarino. Continue Reading

Robert David Meyers of Kiawah Island, South Carolina submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which Meyers was fined and suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) , for allegedly engaging in private securities transactions in violation of FINRA Rules 3280 and 2010.

In July 2007, Meyers registered with Wells Fargo as a General Securities Representative (GS). According to FINRA, between February 2016 and October 2017, Meyers participated in private securities transactions by soliciting, facilitating and recommending private equity investments. The findings stated that the securities were offered by three private equity funds to 26 Wells Fargo customers who made investments totaling $1.9 million without written notice or consent from his firm. On November 2, 2017, Wells Fargo filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) stating that Meyers was discharged due to the recommendations not offered through the firm. Meyers did not receive any compensation from the private equity funds as a result of his participation. Continue Reading

David Manor, a currently unregistered representative formerly employed with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo), has agreed to an Offer of Settlement by the Department of Enforcement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the findings that he engaged in outside business activities without his firm’s approval, made unsuitable recommendations to his customer and caused that customer approximately $224,000 in losses in less than three months.

FINRA’s findings state that while employed by Wells Fargo, David Manor, of Brookline, Massachusetts, engaged in unapproved outside business activity in which he assisted a customer, a 75 year old retiree with limited income, in selling mineral rights on a property he owned.  In return for his help, the customer paid Mr. Manor $107,000 that Manor then used to open a brokerage account away from his member firm and traded from the account on behalf of his customer.  FINRA stated that Mr. Manor effected risky, unsuitable options trades from the account, and caused his customer to lose approximately $224,000 in less than three months. Continue Reading

Richard Stephen Hughes submitted a submitted of Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was fined and suspended for unsuitable recommendations.

In October of 2011, Hughes registered as a General Securities Representative and General Securities Principal with Wells Fargo. According to FINRA, between April 2015 and May 2016 Hughes made unsuitable recommendations to a customer resulting in short-term switches between Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) and Class A-share mutual funds. The findings stated these recommendations were unsuitable because of the frequency and cost of the transactions. The findings also stated that the customer’s account incurred over $34,000 in excessive commissions and fees and that Hughes created a script containing false statements for the customer to use if contacted by the firm about the transactions made. Hughes’ conduct violated FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010. Continue Reading

Earle Clement Tingley, a former registered representative with Wells Fargo, submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was in violation of Rule 3240(a), assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended for 45 days.

According to FINRA, Tingley was a general securities representative of Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA) from January 2008 until May 2014. He registered with FINRA through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (WFAFN). In May of 2018, WFAFN filed a U-5 form disclosing Tingley’s Termination. During his time with WFA, Tingley allegedly borrowed $35,000 from a customer without notifying or seeking approval from his firm. The findings also stated that Mr. Tingley did repay the customer prior to detection by his firm but did not document the loan or terms for repayment. Continue Reading

Darnell Kenneth Mote submitted a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he was suspended from association with any FINRA member in all capacities for 20 days and fined $5,000.

In June 2012, Mr. Mote joined the securities industry and became associated with Wells Fargo Advisors. According to FINRA, the firm filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Registration reporting Mote’s termination on November 4, 2015. Mr. Mote allegedly engaged in outside business activity without providing notice to his firm.  The firm’s policies require all associated persons to seek approval in writing before engaging in outside activity, which is what Mr. Mote failed to do.   Continue Reading

Charles Frieda, a former registered representative with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (f/k/a Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC), submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) in which he was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for recommending an investment strategy which was over-concentrated in energy-sector securities and unsuitable for his clients.  FINRA found that Mr. Frieda’s unsuitable recommendations resulted in millions of dollars in losses to his clients.

FINRA found that Charles Henry Frieda (along with another Wells Fargo representative) recommended an over-concentration of energy-sector securities, some of which were speculative, to more than 50 customers.  Because of the speculative nature of the energy-sector securities, the volatility of the energy market, and the highly over-concentrated levels in the clients’ accounts, Mr. Frieda’s customers were exposed to significant losses.  According to FINRA, Mr. Frieda failed to properly consider his customers’ investment profiles, including their investment experience, risk tolerance, investment time horizon, net worth, and liquidity needs.  Even when the energy market began a downturn in 2015, Mr. Frieda continued to unsuitably recommend that his clients adhere to his investment strategy.  Due to his highly unsuitable recommendations, Mr. Frieda’s customers suffered millions of dollars in aggregate losses.  Without admitting FINRA’s findings, Charles H. Frieda, of Anaheim, California, was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities.

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Sandra McCabe, a former registered representative employed with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, (Wells Fargo), submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent in which she consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that she falsified documents by photocopying and re-using previously signed customer forms.

FINRA’s findings state that on approximately 36 occasions, Sandra Jayne McCabe, of Holbrook, New York, photocopied and reused signed and partially completed customer forms rather than having them execute new forms.  The forms included ACH authorization agreements which authorize transfers of funds.  FINRA found that Ms. McCabe submitted the forms with non-original signatures and, in two cases, altered information on the forms as well.  Although the customers authorized the underlying transactions, they did not authorize her to falsify the forms. Continue Reading

James Schaedler, Jr., former registered representative with Wells Fargo Clearing Services (Wells Fargo), has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for refusing to produce information and documents requested by FINRA in connection with an investigation into allegations that he exercised undue influence over an elderly former client and improperly received a $200,000 gift from another elderly client.

FINRA began an investigation in January 2016, into allegations that James Robert Schaedler, Jr., of Corona, California, exercised undue influence over a former elderly client, who ultimately amended her trust to make Mr. Schaedler a partial beneficiary and residual beneficiary of her $2.3 million dollar estate.  Further, FINRA expanded its investigation to include allegations that Mr. Schaedler improperly received a gift of $200,000 from a second elderly client. Continue Reading

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.

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