Broker Spotlight: Wells Fargo Advisor Evan Wuhl

shutterstock_176198786The securities and investment attorneys of Gana LLP are interested in speaking with clients of Evan Wuhl (Wuhl). According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Wuhl has been the subject of at least 15 customer complaints and 1 employment termination. The customer complaints against Wuhl allege securities law violations that claim unsuitable investments among other claims. Many of the more recent claims appear to involve allegations of unsuitable leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds (Non-Traditional ETFs) and mutual funds.

In December 2011, Wuhl voluntarily resigned from UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS) under circumstances where it was alleged that Wuhl worked client orders inconsistent with firm policy and industry rules concerning two clients’ use of credit lines to purchase securities.

The most recent customer complaint was filed in September 2012 alleging that Wuhl inappropriately recommended multiple shares of an inverse-leveraged ETF and then liquidated the trades without authorization from July 2008 through January 2010 resulting in damages of $277,180. The case was resolved for $220,000.

Wuhl entered the securities industry in 1979. From July 2003 through July 2008, Wuhl was a registered representative of Wachovia Securities, LLC. From July 2008 until December 2011, Wuhl was registered with UBS. Finally, from December 2011 onward Wuhl has been associated with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC out of the firm’s New York, New York branch office location.

All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including making suitable investment recommendations. In order to make suitable recommendations the broker must have a reasonable basis for recommending the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation of the investments properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. In addition, the broker must also understand the customer’s specific investment objectives to determine whether or not the specific product or security being recommended is appropriate for the customer based upon their needs.

The number of customer complaints against Wuhl is high relative to his peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters. However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck. More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.

Our team of investment lawyers represent brokerage customers who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts by their advisors. The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.