Did you notice? Did you feel the tremor in the Force? How did Obi-Wan Kenobi put it? Oh yes, I remember: I felt a great disturbance in the Force as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. Indeed, something terrible did happen. Thankfully, both Wells Fargo and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority were there to protect us.
Case In Point
For the purpose of proposing a settlement of rule violations alleged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), without admitting or denying the findings, prior to a regulatory hearing, and without an adjudication of any issue, Evans Fomunyoh submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Evans Fomunyoh, Respondent (AWC 201504588800, March 27, 2017).
The AWC asserts that between March 2011 and June 2015, Fomunyoh was registered as an Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative with FINRA member firm Wells Fargo Advisors ('*Wells Fargo"). The AWC asserts that Fomunyoh had no prior relevant disciplinary history.
The Dry-Cleaning Death Star
According to the AWC, starting sometime around December 2013, Fomunyoh became the sole proprietor and sole manager of the behemoth, inter-galactic, business conglomerate known as Kee Cleaners, LLC, which may have threatened the Empire's inter-planetary dry cleaning franchise and threatened to bring havoc -- havoc I say! -- to the Darkside's securities markets. Clearly, Fomunyoh's involvement in the removal of stains and uncleanliness from articles of clothing that should not be placed within a washer posed an incredible threat to the Empire and its cohorts Wells Fargo and FINRA. Without question, Fomunyoh could not be permitted to continue to remove stains without paying tribute to his overlords. The menace to Wall Street's Empire had to be stopped. Fomunyoh had to be made an example of! Planet Alderaan paid the price. So would Kee Cleaners!
The AWC alleged that Fomunyoh had to give Wells Fargo prior written notice of his outside business activity ("OBA"); and his fate was sealed on February 4, 2014, when the AWC alleges that he:
affirmatively and falsely attested to Wells Fargo on an annual "Associate Annual Attestation" that he had no outside business activities except for those previously disclosed to, and approved by, Wells Fargo, which did not include his activities with Kee Cleaners.
In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Fomunyoh a deferred $5,000 fine and a two-month suspension in all capacities with any FINRA member firm.
Bill Singer's Comment
Do I really need to comment as to my thoughts about this absurd bit of Wall Street regulation? They fine this guy $5,000? Five Thousand Dollars?? On top of that, this is the stuff of a two-month suspension? Amazing how that make chopped meat of these lower-priced cuts of industry participants but we never quite see the same hard-line with the big boys.
It's not as if Fomunyoh never disclosed any OBA. In fact, it appears that he did. Under "Other Business Activities," on Fomunyoh's online FINRA BrokerCheck records is this current disclosure:
BATH SELECT, LLC NON-INVESTMENT RELATED, OWNER; THIS IS AN ONLINE BUSINESS WHERE MY PARTNER AND I SELL BATHROOM REMODELING PRODUCTS: SHOWER PANELS, FAUCETS, STEAM SHOWERS AND SAUNAS; WE STARTED AUGUST 2008 AND I SPEND ABOUT 10 - 15 HOURS A WEEK ON THE BUSINESS, USUALLY IN THE EVENING AND SOME WEEKENDS
Under the heading "Employment Separation After Allegations" on his BrokerCheck file, we find that on May 26, 2015, Fomunyoh voluntarily resigned from Wells Fargo based upon allegations that:
REGISTERED BANKER EMPLOYED BY WELLS FARGO BANK, NA ("WFNA") TOOK A PERSONAL LOAN FROM WFNA TO PURCHASE A VEHICLE YET HE ACTUALLY USED THE LOAN PROCEEDS FOR A DIFFERENT PURPOSE. WHEN WFNA RAISED CONCERNS REGARDING THE LOAN AND POSSIBLE UNDISCLOSED OUTSIDE BUSINESS ACTIVITIES, THE BANKER RESIGNED