Category Archives: Wells Fargo

Leonard “Lenny” Kinsman-Former Wells Fargo Broker- Subject of Customer Suits & Regulatory Bar-Staten Island, NY

June 2020-Staten Island, NY

According to publicly available records of Leonard “Lenny” Kinsman (CRD#2816535) ,  a former broker who was last registered with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, discloses 5 prior customer disputes and a regulatory action resulting in his bar from the securities industry..

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In 5/2020 FINRA barred Kinsman from the industry after he failed to appear for on the record testimony in an investigation related to his termination from his firm and sales practice complaints. The findings stated he had been discharged for unprofessional conduct.

A customer of Kinsman’s previous employer, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network,  alleging that they were told their investment was principal protected, would be guaranteed an annual return of at least 5%, and had no fees associated with it.   The case settled for $24,000.

A customer of Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., alleged the sale of an auction rate security that was made prior to the widespread illiquidity in the ARS Market.    The case was settled for $200,626.

A Royal Hutton Securities Corp. customer alleged suitability, misrepresentation, churning and omission of facts.    The case settled for $180,000.

A Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, customer alleged that from 2012 through 2017, Kinsman made unsuitable investment recommendations as well as forging and falsifying business records.  That case was settled for $995,000. FINRA case 19-0957.

Kinsman was employed with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, from June 2014 until July 2019.   Before that time he was employed by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Wells Fargo Advisors, Citigroup Global Markets, inc., Citigroup Investment Services, and Royal Hutton Securities. 

If you have questions about an account with Leonard Kinsman , call to discuss your options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Dave Sears, Jr. -Former Wells Fargo Broker- Barred from Securities Industry-San Antonio, TX

April 2020- San Antonio, TX

The FINRA records of Vernon David “Dave” Sears, Jr. , a broker previously employed  by  Wells Fargo Clearing Housedisclose  a regulatory event resulting in his bar from the securities industry, 2 customer disputes and a termination.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In February 2020, Sears  was permanently barred from the securities industry by FINRA after allegations that he failed to comply with an arbitration award or settlement agreement or to satisfactorily respond to a FINRA request to provide information concerning the status of compliance.

In September 2017 a Wells Fargo Advisors client, who was also his fiance,  alleged that Sears forged her signature on the application to open a joint account for the client and himself when he was supposed to open an individual account for her.   She further alleged that Sears then transferred the funds she deposited into his personal account.   The matter was settled for $35,000 in 8/2018.

In November 2015 a Wells Fargo Advisors client alleged that he was not told that withdrawals from his annuity account would impact his potential for annual step ups in value, nor that the annual step ups would not continue for the beneficiary of the policy after his death.  The matter settled for $45,135 in 12/2015.

Sears was employed with Wells Fargo Clearing Services  from August of 2014 to April of 2018 when he was discharged for concerns related to Sears’ unit investment trust (UIT) sales practices including concerns related to Sears’ analysis of clients’ ability to hold to maturity.    Prior to that Sears worked with Raymond James & Associates, Inc. 

If you have problems in an account  handled by David Sears, Jr.  call for a no charge consultation .

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

International Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Ramon Arturo Herrera-Former Wells Fargo Broker-Discloses Customer DIsputes Alleging Theft-Jersey City, NJ

February 2020-Jersey City, NJ

According to publicly available records of Ramon Arturo Herrera (CRD#6021170) ,  a  former stockbroker who last worked for Wells Fargo Clearing Services,  discloses 2 regulatory events and and 3 prior customer disputes.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In 10/2019 New Jersey securities regulators revoked Herrera’s registration  after FINRA  permanently barred him  from the securities industry in 7/2018 to resolve allegations that he failed to respond to FINRA request for information in connection with a regulatory investigation.

Herrera’s official FINRA record also discloses 3 prior customer disputes by Wells Fargo Advisors customers.      Allegations included unauthorized withdrawal from brokerage accounts and excessive trading.   The total settlements paid in these three cases was  over $215,000.

Herrera was employed by Wells Fargo  from 12/2009 until 1/2018.

If you had an account with Ramon Arturo Herrera that suffered losses, you may be entitled to collect damages from his prior employer. Call to discuss your options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Wells Fargo Advisors Fined by Regulator for Account Churning

January 2020

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) assessed a fine of $175,000 and censured Wells Fargo Advisors for failing to supervise their financial advisor who churned the account of an 88 year old client.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent No. 2017053034301 FINRA made the following findings:

  • The financial advisor place more than 2,000 trades in the accounts of the senior citizen
  • The customer paid over $300,000 in commissions and fees
  • Although the customer’s accounts were flagged 40 times due to the excessive trading, the firm did not reasonably address the problem

Ultimately the customer was paid $1 million in restitution and the financial advisor was was discharged.

NASD and FINRA rules require broker dealers like Wells Fargo to establish and maintain a  system to supervise the activities of their financial advisors.

Churning

The most basic type of churning comes from excessive trading by a broker to generate commissions.  When there are excessive commissions with no noticeable portfolio gains, churning might have occurred.

If you have an account with a brokerage firm that has been excessively traded or unexplained losses, call to learn more.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Herbert “Elias” Hafen-Former Morgan Stanley Broker-Pleads Guilty to Fraud- New York, NY

November  2019- New York, NY

The FINRA records of  Herbert “Elias” Hafen ,  a  financial advisor previously employed by  Morgan Stanley, disclose a prior regulatory event,  a pending criminal matter, a pending civil matter, a prior customer dispute and a termination from employment.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In 2/2019  Hafen failed to respond to FINRA request for information in connection with a FINRA investigation and was permanently barred from the securities industry.

In September 2019 Hafen pled guilty to investment adviser fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for January 2020.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Hafen in 9/2019 alleging that from July 2011-April 2018 Hafen defrauded clients of the financial institutions he worked for at that time. VIctims were promised 6% interest in an investment that had little risk. In reality there was no investment and Hafen used the money for personal expenses. Of the $1.6 million he raised from victims only about $650,000 was returned.

In 5/2019, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney customer was paid $430,000 to resolve allegations that Hafen  misappropriated funds.

In 8/2018 Hafen was discharged from Wells Fargo Clearing Services  after he admitted to entering into financial arrangements with clients that were not approved by the firm.

Hafen was registered with Wells Fargo Clearing Services  from March to September of 2018.  Prior to that he was employed by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney from 6/2009-4/2018.

If you have losses in an account  handled by Herbert “Elias” Hafen , contact us for a no charge consultation to learn how you may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870