Wells Fargo Terminates Robert Meyers for Recommending Private Investments

shutterstock_20354398-300x200The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have been investigating previously registered broker Robert Meyers (Meyers).

According to the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck records, in October 2017, Meyers was terminated from Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC (Wells Fargo) for recommending investments to customers that he did not notify the firm about.

In addition, Meyers has been subject to eight customer disputes. In August 2005, a customer alleged that Meyers failed to follow the customer’s instructions regarding the investment. The customer requested $1,000,000 in damages.

Meyer was recommending investments to customers that his firm had never pre-approved. The practice in which a broker engages customers to invest in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm is known as selling away.  All member firms have the duty to supervise their advisors under FINRA rules. Each firm is required to have procedures in order to monitor the activities of each advisor’s activities and interaction with the public.

Selling away can occur when firms fail to implement a reasonable supervisory system. All Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) member firms have the duty to supervise their brokers.  In recent years, regulatory authorities such as the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA have steadily heightened the supervisory obligations of brokerage firms. Supervisors have an obligation to respond vigorously to indications of irregularity, often times referred to as “red flags.” A supervisor cannot ignore or disregard red flags and must act decisively to detect and prevent improper activity. However, in most cases, the brokerage firm’s only supervision over the broker’s outside business activities consists a few documents completed by the broker without independent verification. In addition, in many cases supervision consists of only per-announced visits to the broker’s office that allow the broker to clean up any signs of wrongdoing before inspection.

In addition, in cases of selling away, the investor is often unaware that the advisor’s investments are improper or are unapproved by the firm.  In many of these cases the investor will not learn that the broker’s activities were wrongful until after the investment scheme is publicized, the broker is fired or charged by law enforcement, or stops returning client calls altogether. This typically results in large losses for the investor.

Meyer also has an unusual amount of complaints on his record in comparison to his peers.  According to newsources, only about 7.3% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records among brokers employed from 2005 to 2015. However, studies have found that in certain parts of California, New York or Florida, the rates of disclosure go up to as high as 18%.  Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their CRD customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, and even criminal matters.

Meyers entered the securities industry in 1985. From July 2007 to November 2017, Meyers was registered with Wells Fargo. From March 2006 to July 2007, Meyers was registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated. From April 1990 to March 2006, Meyers was a registered representative with Advest, Inc. Meyers is currently not registered with any firm.

Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of selling away and brokerage firms failure to supervise their representatives.  Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover