Fired by Wells, Veteran Broker Three Years Later Is Suspended by Finra
In another example of regulators catching up with facts uncovered by member firms, the regulator on Thursday said it suspended a former Wells Fargo Advisors broker who the firm discharged more than three-and-a-half years ago.
Robert Edward Loftus, who has been working at New York-based broker-dealer Arcardia Securities since a few weeks after he was terminated in June 2013, was suspended for three months by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and fined $5,000.
The broker, who has worked at seven firms since first registering with E.F. Hutton in 1985, settled Finra’s findings that he deposited three worthless personal checks into his brokerage account from November 2012 to April 2013 to prevent earlier checks from bouncing.
Loftus, who neither admitting nor denied the findings in the settlement document, did not respond to a call for comment. When he was fired by Wells over the same kiting allegations, he wrote on his U-4 filing that he was using his Wells “Command” account in a standard manner as he had for four years “with no issues or problems,” according to his BrokerCheck record.
“I was summarily terminated based upon false allegations by Wells Fargo,” he wrote.
The database hints that Loftus has run into debt issues in recent years after working for almost 30 years without a mark on his record. Since 2014 he has accumulated four civil judgments or tax liens totaling almost $648,000, according to BrokerCheck. The largest civil judgment involved a $509,686 payment he was ordered to pay to Citigroup Global Markets.
Last August, a panel of Finra arbitrators also ordered Loftus to repay Wells Fargo Advisors $930,000 related to a hiring bonus promissory note he signed when he joined the firm in 2009 from Smith Barney. He was also assessed $300,000 in Wells Fargo’s attorneys’ fees.
In January 2014 a federal judge in New York overturned an $11 million arbitration award that a client of Loftus had won against Citi in arbitration. A record of the arbitration claim was expunged in November 2014 after the client testified that he continued to work with Loftus and that his dispute was with the bank.