Wells Fargo Discharges California Advisor over Personal Cash Withdrawals
Wells Fargo Advisors has terminated a veteran broker in Roseville, Calif., over improper cash withdrawals from his personal bank account, according to a filing the broker-dealer has made with state securities regulators.
Heng disputed Wells’ determination, according to the filing, and Wells said the alleged activities were not securities or client-related and that no clients appeared to have been harmed.
The Bank Secrecy Act aimed at preventing money laundering requires banks to report to regulators any transactions exceeding $10,000, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority requires member firms to have policies and procedures aimed at complying with the Act’s requirements.
Heng did not respond to requests for comment on his departure, which as of Monday morning was not disclosed on his BrokerCheck record. The record has no disclosures of client complaints or any other required regulatory or financial event during his career as a registered representative.
The Sacramento-area broker was managing $350 million for clients as of January, ranking him #101 on Forbes’ listing of top advisors in California, according to the magazine.
He worked at Wells’ Wealth Brokerage Services unit, which is typically based in a bank branch. As part of a broad reorganization, Wells Fargo Advisors integrated the bank brokerage group with its core of private client group brokers in 2018.
Broker-dealers under Finra’s Rule 3310(a) must file “suspicious activity reports” with a unit of the U.S. Treasury if they suspect a transaction at the firm of $5,000 or more may derive from an illegal activity, but the U5 filing did not mention any such suspicions.
Heng worked at Merrill at the start of his career for almost two years and at CIticorp Investment Services for just over three years before joining Wells in mid-1997, according to his BrokerCheck history.
A spokeswoman for Wells did not immediately return a request for comment about Heng’s departure.