By Dow Jones Business News, October 16, 2013, 01:03:00 PM EDT
By Matthias Rieker
Wall Street's self-regulator says a former Wells Fargo & Co. ( WFC ) broker is accused of stealing about $1.3 million
from mostly elderly customers in Georgia.
James Arnold Busch worked as a wealth adviser at a Wells Fargo bank branch in Brunswick, and was fired earlier this
month, according to information released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. Finra barred him from
working in the industry.
Wells Fargo had discovered Mr. Busch's alleged misconduct and handed the case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
a spokesman for the San Francisco bank said. A spokesman for the FBI in Atlanta said he couldn't comment on the matter
because of a lack of information available as a result of the federal government shutdown.
Mr. Busch has been a broker since 1989, and joined Wells Fargo in 2000. He was a wealth adviser in various bank
branches, and many of Mr. Busch's customers had both bank and brokerage accounts, according to a Finra enforcement
action dated Oct. 11.
Between 2006 and 2013, he requested payments from his customers' bank accounts to his personal credit-card account,
according to Finra. "In some instances, Busch liquidated securities from the customers' brokerage accounts in order to
generate cash. The cash was transferred from the customers' brokerage accounts to the customers' bank accounts prior to
Busch's misappropriation of the funds," Finra alleged in its enforcement action.
Wells Fargo continues to investigate the matter, a company spokesman said: "We are talking to clients who may have
been affected by this matter and all who we determine to have suffered losses will be repaid."
Mr. Busch couldn't be reached for comment. He accepted and consented to the Finra enforcement action without admitting
or denying the findings.
Write to Matthias Rieker at email@example.com
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