Not About Trust As A Trustee For Former Wells Fargo Advisor

April 18, 2013

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, Joseph J. Antosh, Jr., submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Joseph J. Antosh, Jr., Respondent (AWC 2011028161601, April 8, 2013).

Antosh was first registered in 1980; and during the relevant time of 2003 until May 24, 2011, he was employed with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. The AWC asserts that Antosh had no prior disciplinary history.

According on online FINRA disclosures as of April 16, 2013, Wells Fargo filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration ("Form U5") that indicated that on May 24, 2011, Antosh was "Discharged" based upon these allegations:


The AWC asserts that FINRA commenced an investigation of, among other things:

whether Antosh improperly changed the beneficiary of an elderly customer's IRA from the customer's son to Antosh's daughter during February 2011.

As such, Antosh was not only under suspicion by his firm for having become designated as a "beneficiary" of a customer (although the U5 doesn't specify beneficiary of what) but he also popped up on FINRA's regulatory radar for purportedly changing the beneficiary of an elderly customer's IRA from her son to his own daughter.

In furtherance of its investigation, on January 4, 2013, FINRA sent a letter to Antosh's counsel requiring the client's January 16, 2013 on-the-record testimony ("OTR"). On January 7, 2013, counsel informed FINRA that Antosh did not intend to provide testimony and, thereafter, he failed to appear at the OTR.

FINRA alleged that Antosh violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010; and in accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Antosh a Bar from association with any FINRA regulated broker-dealer in any capacity.

Many brokerage firms have a very negative attitude about registered persons acting as trustees or executors because it often opens up a nasty can of worms about over-reaching and frequently attracts the unwanted attention of lawyers for unhappy family members who didn't quite get the bucks that they anticipated when good old Uncle Joe or Aunt Jane died.  Consequently, registered persons should always confirm in advance with their employer firm whether serving as an executor or trustee for a customer is okay - and if the firm says "yes," then make sure to comply with all internal notice requirements and FINRA rules.

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