Finra Dings Ex-Wells Rep Over Outside Brokerage Accounts
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has suspended a former Wells Fargo Advisors broker in St. Louis, Missouri for three months and fined him $2,500 for maintaining personal outside brokerage accounts without the firm’s consent.
Additionally, Popek maintained two other outside brokerage accounts that he failed to disclose to the firm, and in December 2019 falsely attested on a firm compliance questionnaire that he had no outside brokerage accounts, despite maintaining three of his outside accounts at that time, Finra said.
The regulator charged Popek with violating its Rule 3210 prohibiting brokers from maintaining outside accounts without approval from their firm and its far-reaching Rule 2010 requiring brokers to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.
Popek did not respond to a request for comment sent through social media. He settled the claim without admitting or denying Finra’s allegations, according to the settlement letter finalized Thursday.
A spokeswoman for Wells, whose brokerage operations are based in St. Louis, declined to comment.
Wells fired Popek in April of last year after he “acknowledged providing inaccurate information” to his manager and Wells regarding the “status” of one outside account, according to the Form U5 notice filed by the firm.
Popek had joined Wells in 2018 after splitting a rookie year between TD Ameritrade and predecessor firm Scottrade, according to his BrokerCheck. His official title had been “investment resource consultant,” according to his LinkedIn profile, which shows he has been a mortgage banker with a Missouri-based lender since September 2020.
Wells’ termination notice for Popek notes there was no customer harm identified in his failures to disclose and close the accounts.
In a separate personal trading-related flub, Finra in July fined and suspended a former broker with Wells Fargo Advisors who allegedly sought to use a government small business pandemic relief loan to fund his self-directed brokerage account. The broker in that case agreed to a $2,500 fine and one-month suspension.