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Ex-Wells Fargo rep barred for alleged $800 ATM card theft

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Another registered rep has been ousted from the industry this week for allegedly stealing customer funds.

Ruben Gerardo Aleman Escalante, a rep with Wells Fargo Advisors in San Diego, purportedly swiped $800 from a bank customer by using the customer’s ATM card to withdraw the funds without the customer’s approval, FINRA claimed in its settlement with the bank rep.
He allegedly withdrew the funds from the customer’s checking account on July 3, 2017, first taking out $500 and later withdrawing an additional $300, according to FINRA.

Escalante could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Craig Zafis of San Diego, did not respond to an email.

In his settlement with FINRA, Escalante neither admitted nor denied the allegations against him.

Escalante was with Wells Fargo Advisors from November 2016 to July 2017, when he discharged for requesting and accepting a loan from a customer and making a withdrawal from the customer’s account, according to his BrokerCheck report. He was also dually employed as a personal banker with Wells Fargo Bank, a role he assumed in October 2013, BrokerCheck records show.

Emily Acquisto, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, declined to comment on the matter.

Escalante joins John Douglas Wade, a former U.S. Bank broker, who too was barred this week for allegedly stealing money from his customers. Wade purportedly embezzled more than $105,000 from two elderly customers to pay his mortgage, according to FINRA.

At least 10 others were ousted this year, including Jeffrey Palish, a former Wells Fargo advisor who was barred in February following his arrest in Paramus, New Jersey, for allegedly stealing nearly $1 million from two elderly customers.

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