FINRA suspended former Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC general securities representative DeCarla Shevon Mathis for effecting e-mail-initiated wire transfers totaling over $100,000 after failing to verbally confirm the nature of the request with the customer, as mandated by firm policy. The e-mails turned out to be fraudulent, sent from an impostor.
The findings state that in May 2012, Mathis received e-mails from a person purporting to be a Wells Fargo customer requesting wire transfers of $27,530 and $85,500, earmarked for a bank in Malaysia. Mathis then allegedly completed a service request form for the transfer, sending the impostor a letter of authorization to sign. The impostor returned that letter, attaching a fake signature that Mathis allegedly believed was the customer's real signature.
Though Wells Fargo policy clearly stated that wire transfer requests in excess of $10,000 shall be verbally confirmed with the requesting customer, investigators found that Mathis falsely said she had spoken with the customer on the day of the transfer, though FINRA maintains this conversation never took place.
FINRA notes that because Mathis failed to communicate verbally with the real Wells Fargo customer, all communication regarding the transfer was conducted electronically, via e-mail, with the impostor, resulting in the wiring of $113,030 out of the customer's Wells Fargo account.
Because Mathis allegedly lied about speaking with the customer on firm forms, FINRA also charged her with causing Wells Fargo to maintain false books and records.
Wells Fargo permitted Mathis to voluntarily resign after discovering the above misconduct in June 2012. Mathis' BrokerCheck indicates she since became associated with Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
In this situation, a customer lost over $100,000 in a span of just two days due to associate misconduct despite written supervisory procedures to the contrary.
If you have invested with a broker, associate or firm who you believe has improperly transferred money from your account or whose other misconduct has adversely affected your interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.