FINRA barred former Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC representative Michael James Frew of Hillsborough, California for refusing to cooperate with both firm and FINRA investigations into allegations that Frew improperly received funds from customers and converted them for personal use.
In May, a report out of San Francisco suggested Frew was under investigation for soliciting millions of dollars from clients in what was then-categorized as a financial operation resembling that of a Ponzi scheme.
At the time, Frew's alleged solicitation for investments in a series of unofficial real estate schemes led to further investigations both by Wells Fargo and FINRA and, ultimately, Frew's present banishment from the securities industry.
According to the investigation, Frew provided a partial "but substantially incomplete and misleading" response to a February 2014 FINRA request for information into allegations that Frew accepted funds from customers, in violation of firm policy, and furthermore converted these funds for personal use, also in violation of firm and industry policies.
The findings state that Wells Fargo permitted Frew to resign in January 2014, terminating a career in the securities industry that began in 1975, when Frew likewise refused to cooperate with the firm's internal investigation into whether Frew had received funds from customers.
When Frew informed FINRA's Department of Enforcement in May that he would not provide any additional response nor appear for testimony as required by industry rules, his failure to cooperate "substantially impeded" the regulator's investigation, resulting in his permanent removal from the industry.
If you have invested with Michael James Frew or with any other broker or financial advisor who has solicited or otherwise illicitly received funds from you via a loan or promissory note, in violation of firm and/or industry bylaws, and such misconduct has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.