For some ex-spouses, the marriage vow of “for richer or poorer” weighs heavily on the side of poorer. More cases are coming forth involving ex-spouses stealing from each other through a brokerage account. Recently, Maddox Hargett & Caruso, P.C. represented a client whose ex-husband falsified various documents and transferred funds from several Wells Fargo accounts into several E*Trade accounts without his former wife’s knowledge or consent.
An arbitration panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) ruled in favor of the victim, holding Wells Fargo and E*Trade liable to her for more than $80,000 in compensatory damages.
In addition, the FINRA arbitration panel ruled that Wells Fargo Advisors and E*Trade Securities had to pay the investor $11,960 in interest, as well as $22,500 in attorney fees and $4,500 in arbitration hearing session and fees.
FINRA’s decision sends a clear and strong message that if one spouse “steals” money from another spouse’s brokerage account, the brokerage firm involved could, in fact, be held liable for any financial losses that may occur as a result.