Wells Fargo Stockbroker Sanctioned For Altering Documents

Robert Patton Stansberry (also known as Patt Stansberry) of Columbia Montana a stockbroker and financial advisor formerly registered with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network LLC and Cutter Company Inc. has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended for six months from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon findings that Stansberry caused customers to complete signed but otherwise blank documents to effect securities transactions and that he used unauthorized communication methods to correspond with customers about securities transactions when he was registered with Wells Fargo Advisors and Cutter Company. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018059500901 (July 16, 2020).

According to the AWC, between February of 2018 and July of 2018, no less than sixteen customers of Wells Fargo Advisors were told by Stansberry to provide him with signed documents before they were completed and reviewed by customers. These documents were intended by Stansberry to set transactions in motion at Wells Fargo without further validating the requests with customers. The AWC stated that letters of authorization, account distribution forms, ACH agreements, and beneficiary designations had been altered by the stockbroker. FINRA determined that Stansberry’s unauthorized alteration of customer documentation was violative of FINRA Rule 2010.

The AWC also revealed that between June of 2017 and December of 2018, there were sixteen occasions in which customers received private communications from Stansberry concerning securities business. The AWC stated that stockbrokers were forbidden under Wells Fargo Advisors and Cutter Company policies from corresponding with customers through personal email accounts as those communications would not be recorded and maintained by the securities broker dealers. Stansberry lied to Wells Fargo or Cutter Company on at least three attestations in regard to his compliance with their policies. FINRA found Stansberry’s conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 4511.

Stansberry has been identified in three customer initiated investment related disputes concerning accusations of his misconduct when the stockbroker was employed by Edward Jones and Merrill Lynch. FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in reference to Stansberry’s conduct was resolved for $10,000.00 in damages based upon accusations of misrepresentation by Stansberry concerning the features of corporate bonds sold to the Edward Jones customer.

Another customer initiated investment related complaint involving Stansberry’s conduct was settled for $20,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that unauthorized stock trades were effected in the customer’s account by Stansberry during the time that he was associated with Merrill Lynch. Stansberry is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related written complaint which was settled to resolve allegations of Stansberry’s unauthorized trading in the customer’s Merrill Lynch account.

Stansberry was discharged by Wells Fargo on August 6, 2018 founded on accusations of him instructing customers to provide him with signed but incomplete account documents. The stockbroker was employed by Cutter Company between August 13, 2018 and November 14, 2019.