FINRA fined and suspended ex-Wells Fargo Clearing Services and current Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments (both Sacramento, CA) broker Joseph Frederick Eschleman for exercising discretion without authorization from his customer (since deceased) or firm to do so. Eschleman also allegedly changed his notes on the client's purported verbal (but not written) discretion instruction upon learning that the client had recently passed away.
The findings state that while associated with Wells Fargo, Eschleman (CRD #3237843) in 2015 and 2016 improperly executed discretionary transactions when he sold a securities product in a customer's IRA account in order to fund a distribution, and when he sold three securities from a trust account.
Eerily, according to Wells Fargo's separation disclosure upon Eschleman's termination from the firm, Eschleman had indicated to an associate that he spoke to the client prior to inputting the trades. Upon learning that this client had recently passed away, however, Eschleman allegedly revised his notes to reflect that the client had previously and verbally authorized him to utilize trade discretion in order to issue a required minimum distribution.
Furthermore, investigators found that a Wells Fargo supervisor had discussed with Eschleman the "need to have proper authorization to place orders" before his discretionary transactions in 2016 and that the firm had not accepted either account as discretionary.
A settled customer dispute from 2014 alleged that Eschleman misrepresented his services. Eschleman presently holds a registration with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments in northern California and lists several outside business activities, including Towerpoint Wealth, LLC and PKS Financial, an insurance firm.
If you have invested with former Wells Fargo and current Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments broker Joseph Frederick Eschleman or with any financial adviser or representative who has exercised discretion in your accounts without written permission from an account holder or acceptance of the accounts as discretionary by the firm, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.