Former Wells Fargo advisor George Russell Thoreson (CRD# 1264272) has reportedly
been barred over his role in an alleged pump and dump scheme.
The Securities and Exchange Commission claims that, from April 2012 and
September 2013, Thoreson and others participated in a scheme to manipulate
the reported share price and volume of a penny stock.
The scam reportedly involved placing trades at above-market prices near
the end of trading days to achieve a reported closing price of at least
$2 for 90 consecutive trading days.
So far, two customers have filed FINRA arbitrations regarding allegations
that Thoreson made unsuitable investment recommendations to them. Both
cases are currently pending.
Thoreson was registered with Wells Fargo Advisors LLC from May 2009 through
November 2013. Before joining Wells Fargo, Thoreson worked for Morgan
Stanley & Co. Inc. Thoreson was fired from Wells Fargo in 2013 and
permanently barred by the SEC on Sept. 15, 2017.
What Is a Pump and Dump Scam?
Pump and dump investment scams often involve a scammer who buys up a cheap
penny stock and encourages others to get excited about the stock and purchase
shares. When a large number of investors start buying up the stock, the
price starts to rise.
The scammer then uses this price increase to “pump” the stock
price even further by convincing others that it is a high-performing stock.
Sometimes the scammer will even create false press releases or quote fake
experts to suggest credibility.
Eventually, the scammer will “dump” the shares for a hefty
profit before the stock price plummets. The victims of the scam are left
with stock that is worth far less than what they paid, and may cause them
to suffer significant losses, depending on how much money they invested
in the penny stock.
Tips to Avoid Pump and Dump Schemes
Perpetrators of investment fraud can be extremely persuasive. Even if you
believe the investment advisor is trustworthy, it is always wise to do
your research before you invest your money. The following tips will help
you avoid becoming a victim of investment fraud:
- Beware of strangers who tout knowledge about an upcoming announcement regarding
a product or company
- Think twice before following any investment tips or other offers you find online
- Don’t get fooled by “limited-time” offers
- Be wary of people who use high-pressure sales tactics
- Before purchasing a stock, make sure it trades on a national exchange
Legal Help for Pump and Dump Scam Victims
If you believe you were duped by a pump and dump scammer, contact Meyer
Wilson to learn more about any legal options that may be available to
you. Meyer Wilson attorneys have helped many investment fraud victims
recover their losses.
Contact us today for a free consultation.