ells Fargo’s Steve Klinger Barred By FINRA
Wells Fargo Clearing Services securities representative Steve Klinger (CRD#: 1294139, Asheville, North Carolina) just received the ultimate sanction from FINRA – a bar from the securities industry. Evidently, on October 10, 2019, Klinger executed a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (the “AWC”). Notably, this AWC shows that Klinger, who worked for Wells Fargo from June 15, 2002 to March 4, 2019, violated FINRA rules by failing to provide documents to FINRA while under investigation for possible options trading violations. A brief summary of the allegations against Klinger is contained below.
Wells Fargo Terminates Steve Klinger For Options Trading Fiasco
According to Wells Fargo, Steve Klinger first moved a client’s funds into his account to trade options. Unfortunately for the client, Klinger’s trades caused the client to lose everything in the account. Wells Fargo says that the client sued him, and that Klinger settled that suit behind Wells Fargo’s back. Despite this, Wells Fargo allegedly compensated the client for Klinger’s actions.
Klinger Intentionally Fails To Comply With FINRA While Under investigation
Notably, FINRA Rule 8210 requires a securities broker to supply information to FINRA and even testify while under investigation. FINRA typically bars securities brokers for non-compliance. Some securities brokers prefer FINRA to bar them for non-compliance especially when they are hiding something that, if known to FINRA, could result in their expulsion.
Here, FINRA stated that Steve Klinger violated Rule 8210 because he did not provide information and documents regarding his February 11, 2019 termination from Wells Fargo. Between August 2019 and September 2019, FINRA supposedly made multiple requests for Klinger’s information and documents. However, Klinger did not reply. Subsequently, Klinger conveyed to FINRA that he would not hand anything over.
Client Brings Lawsuit Alleging Steve Klinger Gave False Assurances
A client of Wells Fargo Advisors brought a civil suit on March 9, 2018 challenging Steve Klinger’s sales practices. Supposedly, Klinger assured the client that the client’s investments would generate positive returns. It appears that the client’s investments poorly performed instead. For this reason, Wells Fargo compensated the client to the tune of $37,000 for losses sustained by Klinger’s allegedly bad sales practices. Accordingly, this matter settled April 4, 2019.
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