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Wells Fargo Stockbroker Suspended for Unsuitable Recommendations

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.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Hughes was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and suspended from association from any FINRA member in all capacities for eight months. The suspension is in effect from September 17, 2018, through May 16, 2019.

Stockbrokers have been known to engage in many practices that may violate industry and firm rules, practices, and procedures. In order to protect investors from stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require brokerage firms to establish and implement a supervisory system. The implementation of these industry rules requires supervisors to monitor their employees to ensure compliance with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, and the brokerage firm’s own policies and procedures. If broker-dealers and/or their supervisors fail to establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to investors for damages which flow from the broker’s misconduct. Therefore, investors who have suffered losses stemming from unsuitable recommendations, unsuitable trading and/or other misconduct by their broker can file claims to recover damages against broker-dealers, like Wells Fargo which should consistently oversee its brokers’ activities in order to prevent the above-described misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Wells Fargo account due to unsuitable recommendations and/or unsuitable trading by your broker? Was Richard Stephen Hughes your stockbroker? 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 broker 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.