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Ex-Wells Fargo Advisor Bradley Smegal Charged with Securities Fraud for Defrauding Clients Out of $5 Million, Making Ponzi Payments

Bradley Thomas Smegal, formerly of Wells Fargo Advisors and barred from the securities industry in 2012 following allegations he engaged in and solicited firm clients for unauthorized outside business activities, now faces federal charges that he stole $5.1 million from at least 14 investment advisory clients in a purportedly fraudulent scheme in which Smegal diverted investor funds to a personal bank account while falsely portraying both the investments he was selling and his industry association and status.

According to the US Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota, Smegal convinced at least 14 clients to invest in entities in which Smegal had an undisclosed interest or control. The charges state that Smegal often described the investments as "conservative" and even guaranteed specific rates of return to the investors.

After fraudulently convincing his customers to invest in the entities, the DOJ report continues, Smegal attempted to hide his theft by routing the money through multiple accounts and by making Ponzi-like payments to earlier investors. In order to convince others to invest, Smegal allegedly portrayed he was employed by Wells Fargo—even after the firm had already terminated him for engaging in unapproved outside business activities and for soliciting firm clients for those unauthorized activities.

Included in the handful of customer disputes in Smegal's BrokerCheck report are allegations of misrepresentation, unauthorized transfers, excessive trading, selling away, unsuitable recommendations, and breach of fiduciary duty/FINRA rules/federal and state laws.

If you have invested with former Wells Fargo advisor Bradley Thomas Smegal, or with any financial adviser or broker whose fraudulent guarantees, solicitations, omissions, misrepresentations, or unsuitable recommendations in selling away have proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.

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