Finra Suspends Ex-Wells Broker in Texas Who Tried to Evade Cash Reports
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has imposed a six-month suspension against a former Wells Fargo Advisor broker who “structured” cash deposits and withdrawals to avoid anti-money laundering reporting requirements.
Oakes, who has been an independent broker with Prospera Financial since Wells discharged him in February 2018, knowingly violated Wells’ policies prohibiting deposit structuring, according to the settlement.
Oakes accepted the settlement without admitting or denying Finra’s allegations. He was not given a monetary sanction because of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy discharge he was granted last month, the order said.
He completed internal training modules on anti-money-laundering policies for three consecutive years, the order said. It charged him with violating FINRA Rule 2010 requiring member firm registrants to observe “high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.”
Oakes, who joined Wells in 2015 after 15 years with RBC Wealth Management-U.S. in Albuquerque and 14 years at Dean Witter Reynolds, did not immediately return a request for comment.
In its termination filing with regulators, Wells Fargo specified that his structuring violations were not “client or securities related,” according to his BrokerCheck record.
Wells Fargo, which has paid billions of dollars in fines and legal settlements for creating fake bank accounts and unsought insurance policies for customers, in May terminated a high-producing California broker who worked in its bank for structured cash withdrawals.
Finra in 2017 suspended another former Wells broker for one year after he structured cash deposits to avoid currency filing requirements.