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FINRA boots ex-Wells Fargo adviser accused of taking $200K gift from elderly client

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Another former bank adviser has been barred from the industry for refusing to comply with a FINRA investigation.

James Schaedler, once a registered rep with Wells Fargo, was expelled for refusing to provide FINRA with the documents it needed to assess allegations that he exercised influence over a former elderly client who amended her trust to make him a partial beneficiary and the residual beneficiary of her $2.3 million estate, according to FINRA's recent disciplinary filing.
Failure to comply with FINRA inquiries automatically results in a bar.

FINRA's investigation, which started in January 2016, was later expanded to include claims that Schaedler also improperly received a $200,000 gift from a second elderly client, the regulator said.

Schaedler could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Brandon Rief of Los Angeles law firm Winget Spadafora & Schwartzberg, did not return email and voice messages.

Schaelder agreed to the bar without admitting or denying the accusations.

Schaedler worked for Wells Fargo Clearing in Irvine, California, from November 2016 to January 2017, when he was discharged after allegations that his daughter received funds via a check from a client. The majority of the funds were subsequently received by the adviser, according to Shaedler's BrokerCheck report.

Schaedler moved to Wells Fargo Clearing from Wells Fargo Advisors, where he had been employed for more than six years.

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

Schaedler joins a slew of other reps who were barred this year for not complying with FINRA probes. Michael Mahabir, a former J.P. Morgan registered rep in California, was ousted in May for failing to cooperate with an investigation into allegations that he converted funds from a bank customer. At least six others were expelled this year, including Scott Sherwin Polish, a former broker with Wells Fargo in Ohio who was banished in May for refusing to cooperate with an inquiry into claims that he took money from an elderly customer.

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