Customers Blame Ex-Wells Fargo Broker Clearing Services Herbert Weith For Variable Annuity Losses

New FINRA Arbitration Claim Seeks $260K in Damages 

Former Wells Fargo Clearing Services (WRET) broker Herbert Lee Weith IV is named in yet another customer dispute in which the claimant is seeking damages for losses involving variable annuities. Weith, who was a Wells Fargo broker from 2012 to 2019 in Naples, Florida, became a registered investment advisor for Equitable Advisors, LLC, in Columbia, Maryland from January to October of 2020.

Our Florida broker fraud attorneys have been looking into complaints by ex-Wells Fargo customers of Weith who suffered serious investment losses that may have been caused by unsuitable investment recommendations. Contact our attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at today. 

Former Ex-Wells Fargo Broker Allegedly Made Unsuitable Plan Recommendation 

According to BrokerCheck, Herbert Weith is not registered as either a broker or an investment advisor at this time. He worked in the industry for 12 years. Before Wells Fargo, he was a SunTrust Investment Services broker. Before that, he was with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith. 

Here are the customer disputes reported by FINRA on Weith’s BrokerCheck:

  • 10/2020 – The latest and still pending customer dispute accuses Weith of making an unsuitable plan recommendation that appears to have involved a variable annuity and a mutual fund. The claimant is asking for $260K in damages.

Although BrokerCheck does not include more specifics, another source reports that the plan purportedly involved investing close to $300K of the investor’s funds in a SunAmerica annuity and $118K in an Eaton Vance mutual fund. 

The ex-Wells Fargo Clearing Services broker allegedly recommended that the claimant take money out from both investments each month even though withdrawing the funds right away would negatively affect the income guarantees that came with the annuity investment. The investor, reportedly a Maryland retiree, alleged negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent supervision against Wells Fargo Clearing Services. 

Weith may not be a respondent in this Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim even if his actions are what allegedly caused the investor’s losses. It is not common for brokerage firms to be held liable for their registered representatives’ actions, especially if their failure to properly supervise enabled the investor losses to occur. 

  • 3/2017 – According to this investor complaint, from 12/2016 to 3/2018, Weith was negligent in using the customer’s 401K funds to establish an income stream via a variable annuity. The broker negligence case was settled for $20K. 
  • 4/2015 – This claimant alleged unsuitability and misrepresentations involving an annuity. The investor case contends that the liquidation of securities to buy an annuity led to capital gains. A more than $28K settlement was reached.

Risks Involved in Annuity Investments 

While annuities may sound like safe investments, there are risks involved. They are not suitable for short-term investing. Withdrawing money too early can lead to significant taxes, charges, and penalties.

If you sustained significant investment losses while working with former Wells Fargo Clearing Services broker Herbert Weith, contact our Tampa broker fraud lawyers at (813) 560-2992. SSEK Law Firm represents investors all over Florida and the rest of the United States.

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