FINRA Suspends, Fines Broker Gary Len Wells

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has suspended Wells Fargo Advisors broker Gary Len Wells in connection with a $600,000 bequest a client left him in a will.

Gary Len Wells was suspended for 15 months and fined $20,000 for violating Wells Fargo policies, as well as industry rules, aimed at eliminating customer conflicts by prohibiting brokers from accepting bequests from non-family members.

As detailed in a recent Advisor Hub article:

“The broker also violated Finra’s Rule 2010 requiring ‘high standards’ after he ‘circumvented’ his former firm in accepting the bequest, which came from the estate of a long-time client who died in 2014 at the age of 92.

Wells Fargo, which had first warned Wells about his being improperly named as beneficiary in 2012, reversed the initial transfer of funds via wire when the customer died, but the broker proceeded to accept three separate checks from the customer’s estate and then concealed the funds by depositing them into a personal bank account not affiliated with Wells Fargo and attesting on annual compliance questionnaires that he had not received any money.

The article further explained “that Wells Fargo had first become aware that the broker was named in the client’s will after the client’s brother complained to the firm about the issue in 2012 and prompted the initial warning.”

Fishman Haygood’s Investment Fraud Division has experience bringing claims on behalf of investors who were the victims of their investment advisors. If you believe you have suffered losses due to the advice and/or actions of your broker or investment advisor, please contact us to discuss your possible claim.