The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Daniel Pimental (Pimental), most recently employed by Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (Wells Fargo) has been subject to at least three customer complaints during the course of his career. Mr. Pimental is no longer a registered broker. According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mr. Pimental’s customer complaints alleges that Mr. Pimental recommended unsuitable investments in various investments including allegations involving mutual funds, options, and over-the-counter securities, among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.
In January 2020, a customer complained that Mr. Pimental violated the securities laws by alleging that Mr. Pimental engaged in unsuitable investment advice, unauthorized trading, and churning of the customer’s accounts. The claim is currently pending.
In May 2008, a customer complained that Mr. Pimental violated the securities laws by alleging that Mr. Pimental engaged in unsuitable investment advice. The claim settled in the amount of $14,138.
In March 2002, a customer complained that Mr. Pimental allegedly played a role in the substantial aggregate net loss in their technology stocks. The claim settled in the amount of $700,000.
Brokers are required under the securities laws to treat their clients fairly. This obligation includes the duties to disclose material risks of the investments they recommend and to present products, particularly complex or confusing products, in a fair and balanced manner that allows the client to evaluate the recommendation. Another important obligation advisors have is to make only suitable recommendations for investments to the client. There are many investments that are not appropriate for the majority of investors or for certain investors given their risk tolerance, age, and other factors. Advisors should not present these investment options to clients. There are two screens that advisors must employ to determine whether an investment is suitable for a client. First, there must be a reasonable basis for the recommendation – meaning that the product has been investigated and due diligence conducted into the investment’s features, benefits, risks, and other relevant factors. The advisor must conclude that the investment is suitable for at least some investors and some securities may be suitable for no one. Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.