FINRA Actions: Former UBS Broker Is Barred for Overvaluing Customer’s Account by Up to $3M, Ex-Broker Allegedly Stole $400K From Parents, Wells Fargo Adviser is Suspended After Client is Victimized in Phishing Scam, and Former Stifel Broker is Accused of Unauthorized Payments


Ex-UBS Broker is Accused of Inflating Customer’s Account 
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred Jeffrey Hamilton Howell from the broker-dealer industry. The former broker is accused of giving  a customer bogus weekly account statements that overvalued an account by up to $3M. The alleged misconduct is said to have occurred between 9/2008 and 11/2014.
According to FINRA, Howell sent the customer over 300 Stock Tracking Reports that misstated the client’s portfolio in amounts ranging from $289K to approximately $3M. He purportedly used his personal e-mail to send the customer some of the fake reports. This left UBS with records and books that were not accurate.
UBS fired Howell in 2014. He is settling the FINRA case and has agreed to the industry bar. Howell has not, however, denied or admitted to the charges.
Ex-Wells Fargo Advisors Broker Is Suspended After Client Loses Money In Phishing Scam 
Former Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (WFN) broker Kathleen Kincade will pay a $5K fine and serve a month-long suspension after one of her client’s lost $350K in a cyber-attack. Kincade was targeted in a phishing scam that let hackers enter her client’s email and pretend to be the client in email exchanges with her so they could ask that she move money to an account outside the firm.
Financial firms usually mandate that advisers speak directly with clients to confirm such money transfer requests. This is something that FINRA claims Kincade failed to properly do. Instead, contends the self-regulatory organization, she improperly caused wire disbursements of almost $350K in total to go from the customer’s account to accounts belonging to third parties. Meantime, she “falsely” represented that she had gotten verbal confirmation that the instructions for moving the funds were from the actual client.
FINRA Bars Broker Who Stole From His Parents’ Accounts
FINRA has barred Gregory Bauer from the securities industry. The former broker, who used to be registered with Waddell & Reed, is accused of taking out over $400K in unauthorized withdrawals from accounts that were in his parents’ names.
Bauer allegedly forged their signatures on request forms for withdrawals a number of times over several years. Some of the requests caused securities in his parents’ accounts to be withdrawn while others caused checks to be issued in their names. He would then purportedly take the checks and deposit the money in his own personal account for his own use. Bauer, who left Waddell & Reed in 2013, was recently fired from another securities firm.
Ex-Stifel, Nicolaus, & Co. Broker is Accused of Making Unauthorized Payments 
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred Jay Jules Gruenebaum after he made unauthorized payments to clients. Gruenebaum was fired by Stifel, Nicolaus, & Co. for the same reason.
According to the regulator, the former broker came under investigation by the SRO because of two customer complaints accusing him of wrongly handling the accounts and representations he made to them, in addition to the unauthorized payments. Even though Gruenebaum is settling, he is not denying or admitting to FINRA’s findings.
It was just six years ago that Gruenebaum was fired from Merrill Lynch over allegations that he modified client documents.
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