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FINRA suspends former Wells Fargo advisor accused of trading in account of deceased client

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2022 | Financial Advisor Misconduct

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has suspended a former Wells Fargo advisor who allegedly traded in the account of a client who had passed away, according to Financial Advisor.

FINRA took the action against Michael McDermott of Mobile, Alabama, who was discharged by Wells Fargo over the allegations in March 2020.

The authority said that from January 2019 to April 2019, McDermott traded without authorization in the account of one of the firm’s customers, both before and after the customer’s death. He also was accused of falsifying notes about his communications with the customer to predate his death.

While the customer died in March 2019, McDermott wrote a note in April 2019 falsely indicating he had spoken with the customer about multiple stop loss orders in his account, FINRA said. That caused Wells Fargo to have inaccurate books and records. Upon learning that the customer had passed away, the authority said McDermott edited the previous note to inaccurately state that his conversation with the customer had occurred in January 2019.

McDermott signed a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent with FINRA in which he did not admit or deny guilt, but did consent to a three-month suspension.

At Lewitas Hyman, we represent clients nationwide who are the victims of unauthorized trading, breaches of fiduciary duty and other forms of financial advisor misconduct and securities fraud. Our team of lawyers brings a diverse range of knowledge and experiences to our clients’ cases. If your financial adviser made trades without your consent, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit to recoup your losses. We’ll help you understand your rights and options. Contact us at (888) 655 6002 or email our team to learn more.