FINRA barred former Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC financial adviser Jeffrey C. McClure of Chico, California for taking $88,850 from an elderly client. The alleged misappropriation of funds occurred during a series of thefts from 2012 to 2014.
According to the investigation and FINRA'S findings, McClure first began converting funds from an elderly customer's bank account without the customer's knowledge or consent in December 2012, executing a total of 36 transactions ranging from $800 to $5,000 apiece—$88,850 in total.
FINRA regulators discovered that McClure effected the unauthorized transactions after misappropriating 36 blank checks signed by his elderly customer, writing all 36 checks as payable to an account McClure owned at a third-party bank. When McClure's targeted customer didn't have sufficient funds in her checking account to cover the fraudulent checks, McClure allegedly transferred funds from a linked Wells Fargo savings account to the infiltrated checking account.
The findings state that McClure used the ill-gotten money to pay for his own personal expenses, while Wells Fargo, upon discovering the misconduct, fired McClure from its Advisors wing and compensated his victim for her $88,850 loss through the affiliated bank branch.
As part of the settlement in accepting a lifetime bar, McClure did not admit or deny FINRA'S findings. Furthermore, according to Reuters, McClure's attorney stated there have been no civil or criminal charges brought against McClure.
Wells Fargo should be commended, it did the right thing by its client in this case. Often brokerage firms will resist paying any form of voluntary restitution to a defrauded client in hopes a client will stop complaining and leave. If you have invested with any broker, financial adviser or firm whose unauthorized transactions in your account has resulted in unexplained and unacceptable losses, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.