Client wins $357K clawback in arbitration from Wells Fargo over unsuitable investments

The award cited investments made in unspecified energy and housing products

Mar 13, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

An investor won a $357,000 arbitration award against Wells Fargo Advisors for unsuitable energy and housing investments.

The case summary in the March 9 award cited "investments in unspecified energy and housing products, and use of a margin line of credit."

The investor, Anthony J. Pryor, claimed fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and negligent supervision, among other causes of action. The arbitration award did not provide any further detail about the allegations.

The all-public arbitration panel awarded Mr. Pryor $357,000 in compensatory damages plus 8.75% interest on that amount from March 25, 2016, until March 2, 2017. Mr. Pryor initially sought $1 million in damages but at the close of the hearings, which ran from Feb. 28 through March 2, he requested $413,254.74.

Wells Fargo denied the allegations, according to the award statement. The firm initially sought to have the claim expunged from the Finra BrokerCheck record of its adviser, Jeff Wilson, who was not a party in the claim. But the arbitrators said that Wells Fargo "did not pursue its request for expungement" and made no ruling on it.

Mr. Wilson, who has been with Wells Fargo since 2014, has three customer disputes disclosed on his BrokerCheck record, two of which have been settled. One of the settlements, for $250,000 in May 2016, involved allegations of "unsuitable energy and other investments," according to BrokerCheck.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman declined to comment. Mr. Wilson did not respond to a message left at the Wells Fargo Clearing Services office in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Mr. Pryor and Wells Fargo split the hearing session fees, with Mr. Pryor paying $2,730 and the firm paying $6,370.

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