The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has suspended former Wells Fargo broker Michael Garris for one year and fined him $5,000 for executing unauthorized trades in the account of a client whom he knew had passed away.
Finra said that Mr. Garris, who was discharged by Wells Fargo in June 2018, executed 26 unauthorized transactions, generating $9,313.07 in commissions, late in 2017 — six months after a nephew of one of his clients notified Mr. Garris that the client had died.
Contrary to firm policy, Mr. Garris did not inform Wells Fargo of the client's death.
Wells Fargo subsequently reversed the unauthorized transactions, returning the accounts to their positions prior to the customer's death, and refunded all associated commissions.
Mr. Garris is no longer employed in the securities industry. He began his career in 1987 at Drexel Burnham Lambert and worked at three other firms before joining Wells Fargo in Los Angeles in 2011.