ICHAEL GARRIS Suspended By FINRA
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) announced July 22, 2019 that it issued Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC (“Wells Fargo”) broker Michael Garris (CRD#: 1540384, Los Angeles, California) a one-year suspension beginning August 5, 2019, and a $5,000 fine for unauthorized trading. Notably, Garris who worked at Wells Fargo from 2011 to 2018, entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (“AWC”) on July 22, 2019. FINRA relayed in this AWC that Garris violated FINRA Rule 2010. Here’s more on the matter:
Michael Garris Trades In Deceased Client’s Account Without Authorization
FINRA says that a Wells Fargo client whose broker accounts were maintained by Michael Garris died in February 2017. Supposedly, Garris’ assistant and the deceased client’s nephew alerted Garris about the client’s death. As a result, Wells Fargo policy required Garris to notify the firm and cease trading in the account. However, Garris did no such thing.
The AWC’s findings confirm that by November 2017, Michael Garris made 26 unauthorized trades totaling more than $381,000 in the deceased client’s accounts. As a result, Garris generated more than $9,300 in commissions. FINRA says Garris violated FINRA Rule 2010 because he did not get the client’s permission to make those 26 trades. The AWC shows that Wells Fargo disaffiliated with Garris on June 14, 2018 when it discovered Garris’ lack of authorization for trades he placed.
Salomon Smith Barney Clients File Complaints About Michael Garris
Previously, Michael Garris worked for Salomon Smith Barney. Notably, two of Garris’ Salomon Smith Barney clients filed disputes about his allegedly bad sales practices. Apparently, in the first dispute, the client alleged that Garris committed “deceptive” acts. This seemingly caused the client to incur losses on OTC equities. Evidently, in the second dispute, the client suggested that Garris made unauthorized trades. Not only that, but the client suggested that OTC equities were unsuitable. However, Salomon Smith Barney denied these disputes.
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