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Articles Tagged with Wells Fargo

Silver Law Group has filed a FINRA arbitration claim against Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo) after its broker allegedly recommended unsuitable, high-risk investments to his elderly customers.

According to the securities arbitration complaint, the elderly Claimants were immigrants with the equivalent of a third grade education. The Claimants had worked hard to save and had been retired since 2005.

According to the FINRA arbitration complaint, the elderly Claimants sought a reputable broker who could speak Spanish in 2014. The Claimants had no experience investing, could not speak English, and greatly relied on Wells Fargo, according to the securities arbitration claim. Further, Claimants entrusted the entirety of the retirement money to Wells Fargo and did not want excessive risk.

John Bryant (CRD #3202048) was recently discharged by Wells Fargo over concerns about similar trading strategies in multiple customer accounts and has received a customer dispute according to publicly available records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

John Bryant has been registered with American Portfolios Financial Services in Clifton Park, New York since March 2018. Previous registrations include Wells Fargo Clearing Services in Albany, New York (2012-2018); UBS Financial Services in Albany, New York (2006-2012); and Mercer Allied Company in Albany, New York (1999-2006).

Bryant has received one customer complaint and was discharged by Wells Fargo in connection with suspicious trading patterns as shown on his BrokerCheck report.

David Ridenour has been registered with Wells Fargo in Edmond, Oklahoma since 2012. He previously worked for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) CRD records show that Oklahoma-based Wells Fargo Clearing Services broker/adviser David Ridenour has received resolved or pending customer disputes.

According to his BrokerCheck report, he has received one customer complaint, one pending customer complaint, and one customer complaint that was closed.

John Greg Schmidt (CRD #708094) is a former registered stockbroker and investment advisor whose last known employer was Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (CRD #11025) in Dayton, OH. He is also known as “Greg Schmidt” or “John Gregory Schmidt.”

His previous employers include Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (CRD #793), also of Dayton, OH; First Union Securities, Inc. (CRD #19616) of St. Louis, MO; and First Union Capital Markets Corp. (CRD #6124) of Charlotte, NC. Schmidt began his industry career in 1980, but is not currently registered with any FINRA broker.

Schmidt is currently the subject of several disclosures:

A current client dispute relating to Jeffrey Hawley (CRD #1131302) has been filed against Wells Fargo.  Hawley is a registered broker currently with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (CRD #19616). Hawley is also a registered investment advisor with the same company.

The customer dispute centers on Puerto Rican bonds, which were popular to sell to investors for their high returns. When the island declared bankruptcy in May of 2017, many investors accounts decreased dramatically.

The client alleges that Hawley recommended purchasing these bonds in 2012, and to “thereafter hold the bonds.” The case is currently listed as pending.

Marcus Parker was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities. Without admitting or denying the findings, Parker consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to respond to FINRA’s requests for documents and information in connection with its investigation of Parker’s termination from his member firm. The findings stated that according to the firm’s Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) filing, it terminated Parker’s registration for his failure to appear for an interview and be questioned about misappropriations from client accounts.

Contact Our Firm if You’ve Invested with Marcus Parker

If you invested with Marcus Parker or Wells Fargo and believe you have lost money due to his misconduct, you may be able to file a claim to recover your losses through FINRA arbitration. For a free evaluation of your potential case by as securities attorney, please contact Silver Law Group.  FINRA or securities arbitration can be a fast way to recover investment losses.

Former Broker Charles Henry Frieda (CRD #5502319) has been barred after FINRA investigated more than 50 client allegations of improper investments. Frieda’s last employer of record was Wells Fargo Clearing Services (aka Wells Fargo Advisors, CRD #19616) of Irvine, CA, where he was employed from 10/05/2012 through 09/20/2017. Although he was previously registered as a broker and as an investment advisor, he is not currently registered with any broker, and no information is available on any current employer.

His previous employment record includes:

  • Morgan Stanley (CRD #19616) of Brea, CA, from 06/01/2009 through 10/24/2012

Former broker and investment advisor Charles Bernard Lynch, Jr. (CRD #3004877) has been barred by FINRA after 57 customer disputes have been filed against him. His last employer of record was Wells Fargo Clearing Services (aka Wells Fargo Advisors, CRD #19616), where he was employed from 10/05/2012 through 05/02/2016. He was a general securities representative, and was discharged from the firm on April 12, 2016. Since his termination, he has not been associated with any other financial services firm.

Lynch’s previous employment record includes:

  • Morgan Stanley (CRD #149777) of Brea, CA, from 06/01/2009 through 10/24/2012

Richard Shotz (CRD# 1681893) has been with Wells Fargo in Daytona Beach, Florida since 2016. He was recently terminated from Wells Fargo due to a FINRA regulatory action against him in which Shotz was suspended for four months and ordered to pay fines. FINRA found that Shotz engaged in an unsuitable pattern of trading involving unit investment trusts (UITs) in his customers’ accounts. Shotz repeatedly recommended that his customers sell their UITs before their maturity dates; this caused the customers to incur unnecessary sales charges in their accounts.

Shotz has also been the subject of several customer disputes. In one settled claim from 2009, the Claimant alleged that Shotz placed him in unsuitable investments involving exchange traded funds (ETFs). In another settled dispute from 2003, the Claimant brought a claim regarding possible misrepresentations made in connection with Claimant’s life insurance policy; the case settled for over $15,000.

FINRA requires its members to “have a reasonable basis to believe that a recommended transaction or investment strategy” is suitable for a customer given their individual needs. FINRA also requires that its members refrain from engaging in fraudulent or deceptive practices with their customers.

Wells Fargo has disclosed a federal investigation into sales practice violations in customer 401(k)s after a whistleblower cited sales problems in customer accounts.

Multiple potential violations are disclosed including improper referrals, excessive fees and undisclosed conflicts of interest.  In the current bull market, many investors did not appreciate the fees being charged as their accounts were profitable and fees can be difficult to calculate.

Silver Law Group represents institutional and retail investors in claims for portfolio mismanagement, stockbroker misconduct and investment fraud.  If you believe your portfolio was mismanaged, excessively traded or your financial advisor purchased esoteric or high cost alternative investments, call us to discuss your legal rights toll-free (800) 975-4345 or e-mail at SSilver@silverlaw.com.

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