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Irate Investor Calls for Congress to Investigate Wells Fargo Advisors

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Like California, Chicago has decided to cut business ties with Wells Fargo (WFC) for one year due to the prevalence of bank accounts being opened without customer consent.

But government entities aren’t the only ones unhappy with the San Francisco-based business.

Former investor-client Lacy Harber took out full-page ad in several newspapers across the country on Thursday to highlight his displeasure with Wells Fargo Advisors. The ads appeared in The New York Times, Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle and The Charlotte Observer.

The ads call for Congress to look into Wells Fargo’s brokerage business, which Harber claims cost him about $6 million. The ad’s headline reads: “Greed. Dishonesty. Betrayal.”

The Denison, Texas resident said he was buying close to $35 million of stocks on margin when the Dow Jones index was declining on Aug. 24, 2015.

“But for some reason, somebody panicked because the market opened down 1,000 points. To make a long story short, they forced me to sell my stock. It was either that or they wanted the complete $34,800,000 before 3 p.m.,” Harber told The Dallas Morning News.

“I sent them $19 million by noon, and the local broker said, ‘I think that’ll do it.’ He called back and said, ‘No, they want the whole $34.8 million today,’” the businessman, 80, added.

Since Harber did not produce the rest of the demand amount, Wells Fargo liquidated his account and that cost him more than $5.8 million, he maintains. The company also charged him some $483,000 in brokerage fees.

His complaint, filed before Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is pending.  

“At Wells Fargo Advisors, we are focused on our clients and on the longstanding relationships we have with them. Mr. Harber has chosen to use the current media focus on Wells Fargo as a means to draw attention to his own lawsuit. Mr. Harber is a highly sophisticated, experienced investor who routinely made his own investing decisions,” the business said in a statement.
“We executed his transactions on a day of extraordinary market volatility that included a 1,000-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Mr. Harber’s trades were done on margin. Unfortunately, his trading was affected by adverse market conditions. We’re in litigation with Mr. Harber and are strongly defending against his claims,” it explained.


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