A longtime Bay Area broker who resigned from Wells Fargo Advisors in January after it launched an investigation into suspicious activity in a customer account has been barred from the brokerage industry for life…
But investors and an attorney representing them allege that Frew, 66, solicited millions of dollars from friends, family and clients that he said would be used by a real estate developer to rehabilitate properties in areas hit by natural disasters. Some said he promised them interest payments ranging from 10 to 14 percent per year and some received such payments, in one case for 15 years. But when investors stopped receiving payments at various times this year and tried to contact Frew, they were unable to reach him.
“We are still investigating, but we believe this looks like a Ponzi scheme, and there likely was never any investment in these distressed properties,” said San Francisco attorney Cary Lapidus.
Allow me to repeat myself:
1. Don’t buy into private investments from a stockbroker, he has absolutely no expertise to analyze private deals and there’s no reason anything good would ever come across his desk.
2. Don’t buy anything promising 14% income – if it were real, someone else would’ve already gobbled it up ahead of you.
3. Don’t assume just because someone works for a large firm that they’re worthy of trust implicitly. There are dirtbags everywhere.