Apostolos Nicholas Papadea, of Columbia, South Carolina, a registered representative with Wells Fargo Advisors, was fined $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm after consenting to findings that he engaged in unauthorized discretionary trading in customer accounts. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2015048044301 (Apr. 19, 2016).
According to the AWC, between September through October of 2015, Papadea had engaged in the unauthorized discretionary trading of two customer accounts, where he prompted twenty-seven transactions in total. Papadea reportedly had not received any written approval to engage in the trading by the affected customers. The AWC indicated that Papadea only spoke with such customers several weeks prior, or spoke with the customers after trades were effected in their Wells Fargo accounts.
The AWC stated that Wells Fargo Advisors did not allow for discretionary trading by registered representatives in the clients’ accounts without a narrow exception applying (none applied in Papadea’s case). Wells Fargo also prohibited price and time based discretion. FINRA found that Papadea’s discretionary trading was violative of FINRA Rule 2010 and NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b).
Public disclosure records reveal that Papadea has been subject to five disclosure incidents. On May 21, 1986, Papadea settled a customer dispute for $47,500.00, where Papadea was alleged to have committed securities fraud. On July 15, 2002, Papadea was subject to another customer dispute, in which he was alleged to have engaged in unauthorized discretionary in a customer’s retirement account. On May 13, 2005, Papadea settled a customer dispute for $50,000.00 after a customer alleged excessive and unauthorized trading.
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