Wells Fargo Broker Dean Thompson Faces his Fourth Investor Dispute

Dean Thompson (CRD #: 2162039), currently registered as a broker with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, is embroiled in a noteworthy investor dispute. As one scroll through his BrokerCheck record , it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow upon noticing that this is the fourth time Thompson’s practices have come under scrutiny.

The Weight of the Allegations

Details surrounding this alleged misconduct are notable in their seriousness. The investor’s claim, logged on January 29, 2024, accuses Thompson of making unauthorized changes, leading to losses and subsequent fees totaling $125,262.79. This is no minor accusation; it heavily implies a violation of the investor’s trust and an alleged breach of duties.

As famed inventor Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” But what happens when those tasked with stewarding your financial investments, like Dean Thompson, allegedly fail to uphold these principles?

A troubling aspect you should note is that the dispute was denied, signifying the brokerage firm did not acknowledge any wrongdoing. But, the rejection of a claim shouldn’t indicate the end of the road for the investor, as it lacks an external review. Firm denials aren’t always the final word on a matter, as there may still be avenues for the investor to recover funds.

Unmasking Dean Thompson

Now, before we delve deeper, let’s shed more light on the broker in question. Registered in ten states, Thompson also operates as a registered investment adviser in California and Texas. His industry experience spans nearly three decades, which, on the surface, seems impressive.

In this period, Thompson has registered with seven firms, most recently with Wells Fargo Clearing Services (CRD #: 19616), BancWest Investment Services Inc (BWIS) (CRD #: 29357), Planco Financial Services (CRD #: 8326), and Banc of America Investment Services (CRD #: 16361).

He holds records of passing the following examinations:

  • Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination
  • Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination
  • SIE – Securities Industry Essentials Examination
  • Series 7 General Securities Representative Examination
  • Series 6 Investment Company Products / Variable Contracts Representative Examination
  • Series 22 Direct Participation Programs Representative Examination
  • Series 53 Municipal Securities Principal Examination
  • Series 24 General Securities Principal Examination

Decoding FINRA Rule 3260

By looking closely at the allegations, it appears there may be a tie to FINRA Rule 3260. But what exactly is this rule?

FINRA Rule 3260 imposes limits on discretionary trading by brokers. In layman’s terms, this means the broker can make buying/selling decisions without first contacting the investor. However, this can only occur with investor-approved accounts, and only after receiving written authorization from both the client and the firm. Any decisions made on behalf of unapproved accounts tantamount to unauthorized conduct, violating said rule.

Potential Consequences and Takeaways

For investors working with Thompson, the dispute serves as a cautionary tale. According to a 2016 report by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), brokers with multiple complaints are more than five times as likely to engage in misconduct. While allegations are by no means a confirmation of guilt, they serve as a red flag.

If you have suffered financial losses due to the actions of an investment broker, know that you have rights, and there are steps you can take to recover your money. Transparency, accountability, and communication are paramount in any financial relationship. Any deviation from these principles is a potential ground for litigation and recovery.

In closing, remember, an informed investor is a safer investor. Stay educated, stay vigilant, and don’t be afraid to question the actions of your financial advisor. The safeguards put in place by regulating bodies are there for your protection – don’t hesitate to use them when necessary.

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