After setting up phony accounts, ex-Wells Fargo broker stole money

Finra bars Thomas A. Davis, who worked in Hilton Head Island, S.C., for Wells Fargo Bank

Oct 10, 2018 @ 4:54 pm

By Bruce Kelly

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. on Tuesday barred a former Wells Fargo Advisors broker, who was also a Wells Fargo Bank employee, who stole $2,226 after opening phony accounts using the names of clients.

Based in Hilton Head Island, S.C., Thomas A. Davis worked at Wells Fargo Advisors from November 2012 to July 2016, according to his BrokerCheck report. He worked at Wells Fargo Bank as a personal banker and branch manager, according to Finra's decision.

Wells Fargo bank fired Mr. Davis for "taking money that did not belong to him," according to BrokerCheck. He "opened bank accounts for existing clients, credited the accounts with customer satisfaction credits that were available to him as manager of the branch, set up and pinned debit cards related to the accounts, and withdrew the funds through ATM transactions," according to the BrokerCheck report.

Mr. Davis' activity at the bank was not related to the securities business of Wells Fargo Advisors. He was barred for the theft and for failing to appear for testimony before Finra.

"We hold all team members to the highest ethical standards," said Wells Fargo spokesperson Shea Leordeanu. "This adviser is no longer with the company." Mr. Davis could not be reached for comment.

Wells Fargo Bank has been mired in problems since September 2016 with the news that its bank employees had secretly created millions of unauthorized accounts in the names of customers without their consent. The bank was fined $185 million and then-CEO John Stumpf resigned abruptly.

Since then, Wells Fargo Advisors has been dealing with damage to its reputation and seen a massive outflow of hundreds of brokers and billions of dollars in client assets over the past two years.

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