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Ex-Wells Fargo FA Suspended Over Assistants Allegedly Handling His Tasks

December 3, 2018

Self-regulator Finra has suspended a former Wells Fargo Advisors representative who apparently had his assistants handle branch supervision and account approval tasks that were supposed to be his responsibility, according to news reports.

From 2006 through September 2016, Steven Gotter allegedly gave two registered sales associates a common password so they could enter his work list system and sign off on new account approvals with Gotter’s electronic signature, without Gotter reviewing the accounts, AdvisorHub writes, citing a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent from Finra.

Gotter allegedly worked with the two associates at another firm prior to their time together at Wells Fargo, the industry news website writes.

In addition to signing off on the new accounts, one of the associates was also authorized by Gotter to sign in his name on branch correspondence as well as check logs that Gotter never reviewed, according to AdvisorHub, which cites the consent order.

Gotter, who worked at Wells Fargo’s Lake Oswego, Ore., branch during that time, agreed to a fine of $10,000, a four-month suspension from working in a principal capacity and a two-month suspension from working in any capacity at a Finra-member firm, according to the website. Gotter agreed to Finra’s order without admitting or denying the industry self-regulator’s finding, AdvisorHub writes.

Finra

Wells Fargo allowed Gotter to voluntarily resign in August 2016 during its review into the alleged use of his login and password by the other team members as well as the use of his signature by another team member, according to Gotter’s BrokerCheck profile.

In a personal comment on his BrokerCheck file, Gotter maintains he was never notified that he was under internal review when he resigned and did not believe he violated firm policies.

The same year, Gotter registered with Raymond James & Associates, according to BrokerCheck. He did not return AdvisorHub’s call for comment.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the AdvisorHub article cited in this story, click here.