Former Wells Fargo financial advisor, James R. Schaedler, Jr. (Schaedler), recently consented to a permanent bar from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) following an enforcement action. The underlying basis of the investigation involved allegations Schaedler exercised undue influence over an elderly client in order to be named a partial beneficiary to her estate. As a consequence of Schaedler’s failure to cooperate with FINRA’s investigation, FINRA permanently barred him from the financial industry.
Schaedler (FINRA CRD No. 4264512) entered the financial industry in 2000 as general securities representative. Over the course of his career, Smith worked for several FINRA members, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. From 2010 through 2017, Schaedler worked for Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (“Wells Fargo”) until his termination from the firm in January 2017. Schaedler is no longer associated with any FINRA-member.
FINRA’s Department of Enforcement initiated an investigation into Schaedler’s alleged misconduct. FINRA specifically investigated whether Schaedler exercised undue influence over an elderly client in order to be named a partial beneficiary to her $2.3 million estate. FINRA also alleged Schaedler improperly received a $200,000 gift from a second elderly client.
In connection with this investigation, FINRA sent Schaedler a request to provide documents and information pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210. According to FINRA, Schaedler failed to cooperate with the investigation leading to his bar from the financial industry.
Based upon the foregoing alleged misconduct, FINRA asserted Schaedler violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210. Specifically, FINRA Rule 8210 authorizes FINRA, in the course of its investigations, to require persons associated with a FINRA member to “provide information orally, in writing, or electronically . . . with respect to any matter involved in the investigation...” Here, Schaedler failed to provide information in response to FINRA’s request, thereby violating FINRA Rule 8210.
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