Wells Fargo Broker Hit By FINRA For Unauthorized Trading

Joseph Frederick Eschleman of Sacramento California a stockbroker formerly registered with Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that Eschleman executed unauthorized trades in customer accounts. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2017054395501 (Aug. 21, 2018).

According to the AWC, on December 20, 2016, discretion had been exercised by Eschleman in customer GK’s account without written authorization being provided to Eschleman. Apparently, Eschleman sold a security from the customer’s retirement account, and a day later sold three securities from the customers’ trust account. Apparently, the customers verbally discussed Eschleman having authorization to effect transactions; however, this was done in 2015 and August of 2016 – far from the time that the transactions were effected.

The AWC stated that Eschleman was particularly instructed by the management at Wells Fargo that he needed to procure appropriate authorization in order to trade in customers’ account on a discretionary basis. Moreover, Eschleman was informed prior to his discretionary trading in GK’s account that time and price discretion was disallowed by the firm.

The AWC detailed that Eschleman failed to procure written permission from GK and his wife, YK, to trade in the trust account and individual retirement account. Wells Fargo evidently never approved those accounts for purposes of discretionary trading. Consequently, FINRA found that Eschleman’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rule 2010 and NASD Rule 2510(b).

FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Eschleman has been identified in two customer initiated investment related disputes containing accusations of his misconduct while employed with Wachovia Securities, LLC and Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. Specifically, on October 29, 2008, a customer filed an investment related complaint regarding Eschleman’s activities in which the customer sought $50,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that transactions were effected in the customers’ accounts that were not suitable for them, which caused them to sustain investment losses.

On May 1, 2014, another customer initiated investment related complaint concerning Eschleman’s activities was resolved for $11,488.14 in damages supported by accusations that misrepresentations had been made to the customer by Eschleman concerning the services for the customer’s account. Apparently the customer was charged the full amount of advisory fees despite Eschleman failing to actively manage the customer’s investments.

Since August 10, 2017, Eschleman has been associated with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments.

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