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Richard Shotz: Wells Fargo Financial Advisor Suspended

Richard Shotz: Wells Fargo Financial Advisor Suspended

Richard Shotz, a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors in Daytona Beach, Florida, has been suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for four months and fined $7,500. FINRA found that Shotz “engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short-term trading of Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) in customer accounts.”

FINRA found that the activity occurred between July 1, 2012, and December 31, 2014, which would have been while Shotz was employed with Morgan Stanley in Ormond Beach, Florida. According to FINRA, Shotz engaged in the unsuitable trading in 486 customer accounts. FINRA alleged that UITs are not designed to be “trading vehicles” and that short-term trading of them is generally improper because of the upfront commissions associated with UITs.

According to FINRA, Shotz recommended customers sell UITs prior to maturity and then purchase almost identical UITs. The trading strategy apparently served no benefit to the customer, but benefitted Shotz as he was able to obtain additional commission.

Shotz has five customer complaints on his regulatory record, two of which resulted in settlement payments to customers. In 2011, a customer alleged that Shotz made misrepresentations regarding the purchase of Fannie Mae preferred stock. In 2009, a customer complained that Shotz invested in unsuitable investments. In 2008, a customer alleged that Shotz made unsuitable investments. In 2005, a customer alleged that misrepresentation with respect to an investment; and in 2003, a customer alleged that he was told that the death benefit on a Manulife insurance policy was guaranteed.

If you were a victim of unsuitable trading, please call us at (305) 965-1373 for a free consultation.

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