Wells Fargo Broker Took Regulatory Bank Shots

June 18, 2013

Maybe they gotta rethink the whole idea about having one person working at both a brokerage firm and its banking affiliate. If you go by some recent cases, it seems like having all that cash around is just too much a temptation for some folks.

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, Steven Bruce Grunwerg submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Steven Bruce Grunwerg, Respondent (AWC 2012032630801, June 5, 2013).

Grunwerg entered the securities industry in 1995; and in 2000 he became associated with FINRA member firm Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, where he was also employed by the firm's banking affiliate Wells Fargo Bank as a Financial Specialist.  The AWC asserts that Grunwerg had no previous disciplinary history.

A Balancing Act

The AWC alleges that around March 10, 2010, Grunwerg executed a $30,000 promissory note with a Wells Fargo Advisors' customer. The Note acknowledged that $50,000 of a pre-existing $80,000 had been paid. Upon learning of the Note, on April 23, 2012, Wells Fargo Advisors' permitted Grunwerg to resign.


On the same day of his permitted resignation, Grunweg told a Wells Fargo Bank customer that he had removed $65,000 from her safe deposit box.

Adding It All Up

The AWC charged Grunweg with violating: 
  • FINRA Rule 2010 for taking funds from the bank customer; and 
  • NASD Rule 2370 and FINRA Rule 2010 for borrowing money from a  brokerage customer.
In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Grunwerg a Bar from association with any member of FINRA in any capacity.

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