3 ex-Wells Fargo advisors suspended for variety of alleged offenses
FINRA has suspended three former Wells Fargo reps for alleged violations ranging from the improper reuse of signed customer forms to the execution of discretionary transactions without written authorization.
Sandra Jayne McCabe, a broker who worked for Wells Fargo in Woodbury, New York, was suspended for three months and fined $5,000 for allegedly photocopying, and in some cases altering, previously signed customer forms and then submitting them as original and authentic to her firm, according to her recent settlement with FINRA.
The regulator claimed that she photocopied and reused signed and partially completed customer forms, including agreements authorizing the transfer of funds, on approximately three dozen occasions from July 2015 to September 2016. "Although the customers had authorized the underlying transactions, they did not authorize McCabe's alteration and re-use of existing forms," FINRA said.
Frank Tegge, a former financial advisor with Wells Fargo in East Lansing, Michigan, was also sanctioned by FINRA. He was suspended for two months and slapped with a $10,000 deferred fine for purportedly executing a trade in the account of a customer without obtaining the customer's prior authorization. In addition, he placed 64 discretionary transactions in two customer accounts without written authorization from the customer and written approval from his firm, FINRA claimed.
The unauthorized and improper discretionary trading occurred from February 2015 to July 2015, according to Tegge's settlement with FINRA.
John Dettelbach, a former Wells Fargo broker in Cleveland, Ohio, was also reprimanded for placing customer trades without proper authorization. He was suspended for 10 business days and fined $5,000 for allegedly exercising discretion in at least 10 customers' accounts without the customers' and the firm's prior written authorization. "Dettelbach discussed all trades and received prior verbal authorization from the customers for multiple purchases and sales of products, but exercised his discretion in executing those transactions on future dates," FINRA said in the settlement.
The alleged lapses occurred between 2012 and August 2016, according to the regulator.
All three were discharged from Wells Fargo for their alleged offenses: McCabe in February 2017; Tegge in October 2015; and Dettelbach in October 2016.
None could be reached for comment. In their settlements with FINRA, they neither admitted nor denied the charges but consented to an entry of FINRA's findings.
Emily Acquisto, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, declined to comment on the sanctions.