Feds Get Plea From Wells Fargo Con Artist In Elder Fraud Case

September 19, 2013

This is an update of "Former Wells Fargo Broker Rips Off Elderly Widow" (BrokeAndBroker.com, March 12, 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, 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. . ."


On July 9, 2013, Boleancu, 47, of Napa, CA, was indicted by a federal Grand jury on the following 27 counts:
  • 14:  bank fraud
  • 5: money laundering
  • 4: wire fraud
  • 4: aggravated identity theft.
On September 13, 2013, Boleancu pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud after admitting to writing over $1.8 million in checks on accounts of an elderly, widowed client for his personal benefit; and signing the victim's name to checks drawn on her  brokerage account and home equity lines of credit without the victim's knowledge or authorization.  The checks were payable to Boleancu's family members, his girlfriend, another female acquaintance, cash, and financial companies where Boleancu had credit card accounts.

At sentencing, Boleancu faces 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, and restitution. 

Bill Singer's Comment

First off, compliments to FINRA for barring Boleancu in March 2013. It's nice to see that the garbage has been picked up from Wall Street and taken to the dump.

We learn a bit more about the victim from Paragraph 4 of the Indictment:

From in or about June 2007 through in or about November 2011, D.T. was a client of BOLEANCU, first at Morgan Stanley and then at WFA. D.T. was widowed in or about September 2005 and was approximately 77 years old when she became a client of BOLEANCU.

If you have a parent or grandparent or are aware of an elderly individual who is being solicited to invest in what you might deem a dubious project, make sure to carefully read the Boleancu Indictment.  It sets out in chilling detail to steps this con artist took to steal money from a vulnerable senior citizen.  If nothing else, you will learn how to spot some of the signs of elder financial fraud. 

Also READ: