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Former Wells Fargo advisor agrees to guilty plea on identity theft charges

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2022 | Investment Loss

A former California financial advisor has agreed to plead guilty to an aggravated identity theft charge, according to a report by Financial Advisor.

32-year-old Tyler Rigsbee of Folsom signed a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California. Federal prosecutors said Rigsbee stole over $158,000 from the accounts of two bank customers from 2016 to 2021 while he was working for a major bank in Sacramento. Rigsbee’s BrokerCheck file showed he was working for Wells Fargo in Sacramento during that time period.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Rigsbee stole $45,800 from one elderly customer by transferring the money from the customer’s account to brokerage accounts he created at E-Trade, then transferring it from the brokerage accounts to his own personal bank account. He allegedly tried to conceal the theft by partially replacing some of the stolen funds with money he took from the account of a third bank customer.

When another bank customer died in August 2018, prosecutors said Rigsbee created a fraudulent request for distribution of the assets by falsely claiming he was the nephew of the customer. He submitted the request to bank’s estate processing department and transferred $113,000 that was liquidated from the customer’s account to a brokerage account he controlled, the plea agreement states.

Rigsbee was fired by Wells Fargo in April 2021 and was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority later that year after FINRA said he refused to provide documents requested for its investigation.

Rigsbee faces a mandatory two-year prison term and a maximum fine of up to $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or gross loss.

The attorneys at Lewitas Hyman are uniquely qualified to represent individual investors in investment-related claims against financial professionals and their firms. We understand how financial professionals and their firms are supposed to operate through decades of experience working for the SEC and firms like Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Services. If you have suffered investment losses as a result of misconduct by your financial professional or their firms, contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655-6002 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.