FINRA Suspends Former Wells Fargo Advisor Over $600,000 Bequest

Posted on December 31st, 2021 at 1:14 PM
FINRA Suspends Former Wells Fargo Advisor Over $600,000 Bequest

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law:

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has levied a 15-month suspension and $20,000 fine on a former Wells Fargo advisor, Gary Wells, for allegedly violating firm and industry policies intended to prohibit potential client conflicts. 

The Tacoma, Washington-based advisor allegedly accepted a $600,000 bequeathment from a non-family member, according to FINRA. Wells Fargo initially reversed the transfer of funds upon the client’s death. However, Gary allegedly proceeded to accept three separate checks from the client’s estate and concealed the money by depositing the funds into a personal bank account. 

According to FINRA, Gary further mislead Wells Fargo by stating on annual compliance questionnaires that he had not received any funds. According to the settlement, the enforcement action “originated from a review conducted in connection with information received by FINRA’s Senior Helpline.” The settlement also states that Wells Fargo first learned of the potential conflict when the client’s brother complained about the issue to the firm in 2012. Wells agreed to the settlement without admitting or denying any of FINRA’s investigatory findings. 

Eccleston Law LLC represents investors and financial advisors nationwide in securities, employment, regulatory and disciplinary matters.


Tags: eccleston, eccleston law, finra, wells fargo

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