Former Wells Fargo Broker Rips Off Elderly Widow

March 12, 2013

English: Shower

You're going to need to take a shower after you read this case

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, Adorean Boleancu submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Adorean Boleancu, Respondent (AWC 2011030687701, March 5, 2013).

The AWC alleges that from at least April 2008 through January 2010, while registered at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, and its predecessor Wells Fargo Investments, LLC (collectively, "Wells Fargo"), Boleancu converted at least $650,000 from an elderly, widowed customer.

Yeah, I know, an elderly widow - you can't sink too much lower, right?

As you likely imagine, this ain't gonna be a feel-good story with a particularly happy ending. Not in real life. Certainly not on Wall Street.

For starters, not only do we have an elderly widow but, to boot, the AWC characterizes her as an unsophisticated and inexperienced investor. Oh great. And while we're pouring on the bad facts, let me note that she is further described as a client who relied completely on Boleancu's professional advice and experience for her investing and the safekeeping of her assets. It seems that not only did Boleancu know about all of his client's shortcomings but he set out to exploit them.

How does one separate an elderly widow from $650,000?  For starters, you issue checks in her name and without her authorization.  Among the lovely recipients of Boleancu's largesse was his girlfriend. How nice. Nothing like stealing from a little old lady in order to feather your nest with your girlfriend.

Where did Boleancu get those pilfered bucks? In this case, the trusting widow had two home-equity lines of credit that were opened shortly after Boleancu became her financial advisor. How nice and, my, how convenient!

Not content to merely separate the old lady from her savings, Boleancu added insult to injury by paying the interest on the home-equity loans from the widow's checking account (and, of course, the client never had so much as a clue).

By converting at least $650,000 from his customer, Boleancu was charged with having violated NASD Rules 2110 and 2330(a)2, and FINRA Rules and 2150(a). On top of that, he failed to cooperate in FINRA's investigation when he refused to produce any of the requested documents or information, and was further cited for having violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010.

In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Boeancu a Bar from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity. Also, Boleancu was ordered to pay $650,000 plus interest in restitution to his client "due and payable immediately upon reassociation with a member firm following the suspension noted above, or prior to any application or request for relief from any statutory disqualification resulting from this or any other event or proceeding, whichever is earlier. The imposition of a restitution order or any other monetary sanction herein, and the timing of such ordered payments, does not preclude customers from pursuing their own actions to obtain restitution or other remedies. . ."

You might want to believe that this is an isolated bit of nastiness on Wall Street. Think again. READ these "Street Sweeper" columns involving elderly clients: