January 4, 2012
In a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") Arbitration Statement of Claim filed in July 2010, Claimant Sanborn alleged that she had been defamed on a Form U5 as maintained by the Central Registration Depository ("CRD") and as filed by Respondent Wells Fargo Advisors. Claimant asserted causes of action for:
- defamation per se;
- injurious falsehood;
- tortious interference with advantageous business relationship;and
Claimant sought at least $250,000 in compensatory damages and at least $750,000 in punitive damages, interest, costs, and attorneys' fees. Claimant also sought an order recommending the expungement/amendment of her Form U5 to reflect that she had voluntarily resigned from Respondent and had not been terminated. In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between Barbara Sanborn,Claimant, vs. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Respondent(FINRA Arbitration 10-03230, December 29, 2011).
Respondents generally denied the allegations and asserted various affirmative defenses.
On November 30, 2011, the parties informed the FINRA Arbitration Panel that they had settled. Pursuant to the Stipulated Award, Claimant's claims against Respondent were dismissed with prejudice. Moreover, the Panel recommended the expungement of Claimant Sanborn's Form U5.
According to FINRA online records as of January 4, 2012, Respondent purportedly terminated Claimant as "Discharged" on March 11, 2010, and noted the reason as:
VIOLATION OF WACHOVIA BANK, NA POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: FALSIFICATION OF BANK RECORDS. NOT SECURITIES RELATED
In response to that contested language, the Panel recommended that it be amended as follows:
a. After initially terminating Ms. Sanborn's association for an alleged violation of the bank's policies and procedures (not securities related), a FINRA Panel determined that she did not violate the bank's policies and procedures.
b. The reason for the termination shall remain "other." The Panel further recommends that the answer to Question 7F, number 1, under "Termination Disclosure" of Claimant's Form U5 dated April 7, 2010 shall be changed from "YES" to "NO". The accompanying termination disclosure reporting page should be deleted in its entirety.