Wells Fargo Settles Advisor Peter Malis’ Dispute for $1,100,000

shutterstock_62862913-259x300The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo) broker Peter Malis (Malis). According to BrokerCheck Records kept by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). According to BrokerCheck Records, Malis has been subject to five customer disputes, the majority concerning unsuitable investments in mutual funds, municipal bonds, and limited partnerships.

Most recently, in December 2017, a customer alleged that from February 2006 to December 2016, Malis placed the customer in unsuitable investments and executed trades in the account without the customer’s consent.

In September 2016, a customer alleged that from March 2002 to January 2016, Malis placed the customer in unsuitable investments and engaged in unauthorized trades and churning of the account. The case was settled at $1,100,000.

In May 1995, a customer alleged that Malis placed the customer in unsuitable mutual funds and limited partnerships. The case was settled at $12,500.

Brokers must make suitable investments for the customer by following certain criteria. First, there must be reasonable basis for the investment recommendation based off the broker’s research and due diligence into the investment’s properties such as benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. The broker must also match the investment appropriately to the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives including the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.

The number of complaints against Malis are unusual compared to his peers. According to newssources, only about 7.3% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records among brokers employed from 2005 to 2015. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their CRD customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, and even criminal matters. However, studies have found that there are fraud hotspots such as certain parts of California, New York or Florida, where the rates of disclosure can reach 18% or higher. Moreover, according to the New York Times, BrokerCheck may be becoming increasing inaccurate and understate broker misconduct as studies have shown that 96.9% of broker requests to clean their records of complaints are granted.

Malis entered the securities industry in 1969 and has been registered with Wells Fargo since July 2003. From September 1977 to July 2003, Malis was registered with Prudential Securities Incorporated. From January 1977 to September 1977, Malis was registered with Bache Halsey Stuart Inc. From September 1971 to January 1977, Malis was registered with Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis Incorporated. From April 1969 to October 1971, Malis was registered with Middendorf, Colgate & Co.

Gana Weinstein LLP’s investment fraud attorneys represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts due to claims of unsuitable investments and unauthorized trading. 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.