FINRA Sanctions Wells Fargo Stockbroker For Providing Bad Advice
Ronald Richard Blasczyk of Green Bay Wisconsin a stockbroker currently employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC has been fined $10,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that Blasczyk gave bad investment advice to a customer of the firm. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2016052503102 (May 6, 2019).
According to the AWC, in a June 2015 meeting between seventy-five year old customer EF and Blasczyk, customer EF was advised to sell the customer’s existing Voya variable annuity, which contained a guaranteed minimum income benefit rider. Supposedly, Blasczyk made misrepresentations to EF about the customer’s annuities to induce the customer’s transfer. Particularly, the rate of return EF generated on the annuity had been understated by Blasczyk, supposedly leading EF to believe that the customer produced just over two percent in annual returns when the customer was actually generating more than four percent in annual returns.
Moreover, the AWC stated that Blasczyk made baseless representations to EF pertaining to the amount of insurance that the Wisconsin Insurance Security Fund provided on the customer’s annuity purchases. Apparently, the Fund covered insured persons like EF from up to $300,000.00 in losses if the insurance company issuing the annuity somehow failed and liquidated. Supposedly, EF only maintained $200,000.00 in the existing Voya annuity. Nonetheless, Blasczyk told the customer that the customer was close to the limit on the protection the Wisconsin Insurance Security Fund would provide.
Evidently, when Blasczyk consulted with EF in regard to her annuity in 2015, EF did not voice concerns about keeping the annuity. Yet, EF was steered by Blasczyk towards liquidating the annuity based on Blasczyk’s lack of understanding of the customer’s investment returns and the customer’s contributions in the insurance product. Ultimately, Blasczyk caused EF to liquidate the annuity, which caused EF to lose a valuable guaranteed minimum income benefit rider. FINRA found Blasczyk’s conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 2111.
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Blasczyk is referenced in a customer initiated investment related complaint on January 13, 2017 supported by accusations that the customer’s account had been liquidated without the customer’s permission.
Blasczyk has been registered with Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC since January 3, 2011.