FINRA barred former Ameriprise Financial Services and Wells Fargo (both Bakersfield, CA) broker Cathie Ann Joughin for refusing to cooperate with an investigation into her fiduciary relationship with an elderly client. The senior customer's son filed a complaint against Joughin in March 2023, alleging Joughin engaged in elder abuse and misappropriated funds from the client's account.
The findings state that Cathie Joughin (CRD #1044884), aka Cathie Joughin Barnard, refused to provide requested information to FINRA investigators looking into the circumstances surrounding Joughin's sudden resignation from Ameriprise Financial while actively under review for compliance policy violations related to a fiduciary relationship.
Joughin's client filed a complaint alleging elder abuse and misappropriation that began when Joughin served as a financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors and continued into Joughin's time at Ameriprise. Joughin previously worked at Wedbush Securities.
In 2021, FINRA fined and suspended Wells Fargo Advisors broker Gary Wells of Tacoma, Washington, for receiving a bequest from a deceased elderly customer's estate, having been named beneficiary in the customer's will, which is prohibited by FINRA rules.
More recently, in 2023 FINRA sanctioned Wells Fargo SoCal broker Mark Brewer for trying to skirt conflict-of-interest laws by trying to get a family friend named beneficiary in his stead after Wells Fargo denied his initial attempt to be named as beneficiary for an elderly client he was not related to.
The rules prohibiting brokers and investment advisers from being named beneficiaries in client wills are set up in such a way as to lessen the likelihood of a conflict-of-interest investment decision, as well as misappropriation or fraudulent conversion of funds from a vulnerable customer.
If you invested with ex-Wells Fargo broker Cathie Joughin or with any investment adviser whose attempts to be made beneficiary of your or a loved one's will or estate in contravention of industry rules prohibiting such a designation for brokers and advisors has proven harmful to your investments or interests through misappropriation or other illicit and unwanted transfers of funds, please call an experienced FINRA arbitration attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.