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Ex-Wells Fargo Rep Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison

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What You Need to Know

  • The ex-Wells Fargo rep had defrauded about 40 of his clients at the firm out of more than $450,000.
  • He had pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud before the sentencing.
  • FINRA barred the ex-broker from associating with any FINRA member firms in 2018.

A former Wells Fargo broker has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for participating in a scheme that involved defrauding about 40 clients of more than $450,000, according to court documents.

Wells Fargo declined to comment on Monday.

Ramon Herrera, 37, of Jersey City, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden. Hayden imposed the sentence on Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark.

In addition to the prison term, Hayden sentenced Herrera to three years of supervised release.

On Friday, acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig credited FBI agents, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to the sentencing.

Herrera was registered as a broker with Wells Fargo from 2012 to 2018, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website. It was the only FINRA firm he ever registered with as a broker.

After he failed to respond to a request for information, FINRA barred Herrera from associating with any FINRA member firms on April 11, 2018, which went into effect on July 16, 2018, according to BrokerCheck.

The New Jersey Bureau of Securities expelled him on Oct. 18, 2019, and he is no longer registered as a broker or RIA, his BrokerCheck report also shows.

A criminal complaint was filed against Herrera on Oct. 24, 2019, related to his defrauding of clients, according to court documents.

More Fraud Details

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, Herrera used his position as a registered broker and RIA at a clearing services company associated with his firm, identified in the complaint only as “Financial Institution-1,” to meet with clients in the Hudson County area and learn confidential information about them between May 2015 and January 2018.

Herrera asked the clients he was advising — many of whom were older people or communicated with Herrera in Spanish — to sign blank withdrawal slips that he later completed and presented to bank tellers at the financial firm’s branches, the complaint alleged.

He would direct bank tellers to withdraw the funds from the clients’ accounts in the form of cashier’s checks that enabled him to then apply the checks against personal accounts that he and a relative had at the financial firm.

Herrera went on to use the stolen money for his own purposes without the clients’ knowledge or authorization, the complaint had alleged.

(Image: Shutterstock)