Valentine’s Edition: Feel The Love

James Miller, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst, Wealth Solutions Report

JP Morgan Sues For Fraud, Elon Musk And Ross Gerber Make Up, Drinking To Excess, Wells Fargo Again, How To Get Fired, And The President Who Will Not Be Audited

It’s almost Valentine’s Day – the day you will go on a date with the old ball and chain, or try to find a ball and chain, or just sit in front of the television and drink 15% more than you did on Valentine’s Day 2020.

Of course, you want to believe in love, watch sappy Hallmark movies, talk about your soulmate and have a happy cry. That’s cute. 

You know the truth – “love” is just a name you give to endorphins, serotonin or dopamine swimming between your ears, trying to make you reproduce, or form family and community bonds, or just survive by befriending enemies. Evolution is toying with your mind. 

But wait…maybe love does exist: The illustrious former president got some love from the IRS, JP Morgan got no love from Frank, Wells Fargo keeps the love flowing, and Elon Musk shares the love with Ross Gerber.

We also have a special guest cameo by our own Larry Roth! 

1) JP Morgan Says Startup Founder Used Millions Of Fake Customers To Dupe It Into An Acquisition

“JPMorgan Chase is suing the 30-year-old founder of Frank, a buzzy fintech startup it acquired for $175 million, for allegedly lying about its scale and success by creating an enormous list of fake users to entice the financial giant to buy it.

Money, money, money

“Frank, founded by former CEO Charlie Javice in 2016, offers software aimed at improving the student loan application process for young Americans seeking financial aid. Her lofty goals to build the startup into ‘an Amazon for higher education’ won support from billionaire Marc Rowan.”

“When JP Morgan asked for proof during due diligence, Javice allegedly created an enormous roster of ‘fake customers – a list of names, addresses, dates of birth, and other personal information for 4.265 million “students” who did not actually exist.’”

Sometimes when we say “love,” we mean greed – the love of money. And wouldn’t you do anything for love? JP Morgan alleges that Charlie Javice faked 4 million customers for love of money.

From an evolutionary standpoint, why is love for money inferior to any other love? It’s all about survival, right? Our “avarice” is a con artist’s “bravery” – and who’s to judge?  

To read the full article by Alexandra S. Levine and Iain Martin in Forbes, click here.

2)  Private Jet Costs, Sketchy Deductions Among Red Flags in Trump Taxes

“Dozens of audit triggers litter Donald Trump’s tax returns, according to Congress’s top non-partisan tax lawyers: questionable private jet expenses, large unsubstantiated charitable deductions and dubious payments to the former president’s children, among others. 

“Yet none of them have been seriously audited, according to a new report from the Joint Committee on Taxation that reveals information Trump has fought to keep secret for years.”

“House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, who led the effort to investigate Trump’s tax returns and the IRS’s presidential audit program, said he is introducing a bill that would legally require the agency to audit every president within 90 days of taking office.”

The Donald makes taxes great again, with some love from the IRS. Who cares about sketchy deductions or private jets? Such is accountability inside the beltway.

A taxing matter

Richard Neal is onto something – audit Trump. But don’t stop there. Audit Neal. Audit Congress, the Supreme Court and everyone else in Washington. Audit every appointed or elected official in this country down to the local dogcatcher. 

That level of accountability might even cure my nihilism, which is why you can bet your orange derriere it will never happen.

To read the full article by Laura Davison, Chris Cioffi and Samantha Handler in, click here.

3)  The Pandemic Drinking Binge Just Keeps Going

“The arrival of Covid-19 and the societal disruptions that accompanied it understandably drove a lot of Americans to drink. But even as life has returned to more or less normal this year, the drinking binge has continued — which isn’t great news for anybody other than the makers and sellers of alcoholic beverages.

“The consumer spending statistics compiled by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis are the timeliest estimates of alcohol consumption available. They show November’s spending on alcoholic beverages, adjusted for inflation and seasonal spending patterns, to have been 3% higher than a year earlier and 15% higher than just before the pandemic.”

Who doesn’t love a thimble or two of forgetfulness? If you were in Phoenix, you’d have more to drink about, but even outside of sweet home Maricopa, you can toast to disease, isolation, war, politics and the skullduggery of romance. 

Don’t forget the liqueurs!

That’s why we all love ethanol – and we love it 15% more now than before the zombie apocalypse we called “COVID.” 

Don’t forget the chocolate liqueurs this V-Day!

To read the full article by Justin Fox in Financial Advisor, click here.

4) Wells Fargo to Pay $3.7B for Mistreating Clients

So sorry! Here’s a couple billion

“Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to a $3.7 billion settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to settle a variety of allegations of mistreating customers, including a $1.7 billion fine that’s the biggest in CFPB history.

“The agreement includes more than $2 billion in ‘redress to consumers,’ the CFPB said in a statement Tuesday that cited ‘widespread mismanagement’ of auto loans, mortgages and deposit accounts.

“‘Wells Fargo’s rinse-repeat cycle of violating the law has harmed millions of American families,’ CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in the statement. ‘The CFPB is ordering Wells Fargo to refund billions of dollars to consumers across the country. This is an important initial step for accountability and long-term reform of this repeat offender.’”

Too big to jail

Oh, how I love thee, Wells Fargo! 

We haven’t featured Wells Fargo since September. But today we’ve got a double header for you – this story, plus the one below that will make you sniff your seat when you get on an airplane.

$2 billion is a sizeable chunk of recompensatory love, even for a megabank. So please explain why the feds are talking tough about the “long-term reform of a repeat offender” while nobody goes to jail? 

To read the full article by Hannah Levitt in Think Advisor, click here.

5) Most ridiculous reasons for getting fired in financial services

Please don’t urinate on your fellow passengers

“Wells Fargo terminated a top Indian executive last week for drunkenly urinating on a fellow passenger aboard an Air India flight. Shankar Mishra, vice president in the bank’s India operations, was let go after a 72-year-old woman wrote to Air India’s management to complain about the November incident.”

Paige A. Jennings, aka ‘Veronica Vain,’ quit her internship with Lazard Asset Management in 2015 to pursue a career in the adult film industry. Jennings was revealed to be posting nude selfies from inside the bathroom of Lazard’s offices on her Twitter account. Jennings added that she ‘quit [Wall Street] before it fired me.’”

Get fired here

“Simply setting foot in a strip club with colleagues is a violation of company policy at Deutsche Bank. The German lender let go four of its top New York bankers last March after they not only ran up a tab at a so-called ‘gentleman’s club,’ but attempted to expense their visit as legitimate business spending.”

There were six of these stories in all, and the three quoted above demonstrate excellent methods to get fired. Who would even think of literally taking a wizz on an elderly lady in an airplane? Sounds like somebody watched some adult films.

Then, of course, Veronica Vain starred in some adult films. Some may call this “lust,” but it’s your brain trying to form romantic attachments. Just like bankers in a strip club. Who can resist the call of love?

To read the full article by Gregg Greenberg in InvestmentNews, click here.

6) Advisor Ross Gerber Makes Peace With Musk After Twitter Spat

“After a tweeted spat that made headlines in the days leading up to the holiday weekend, Ross Gerber said Elon Musk entered an online Twitter Spaces discussion Gerber was having with 66,000 Tesla shareholders and spent an hour answering questions about his role at both companies, now and in the future.”

“The kerfuffle between Musk and Gerber began Dec. 16 when Gerber, a longtime fan of Tesla (he owns two of the company’s cars), tweeted that he was going to run for a seat on the company’s board of directors and followed that up on Dec. 20 with another tweet about the drop in Tesla’s stock price, blaming the board for its failure to get Musk’s attention after his acquisition of Twitter.”

“According to Larry Roth, the founder and managing partner of New York-based RLR Strategic Partners who has sat on boards and run public companies in financial services for more than 30 years, Gerber’s frustration, subsequent bid and eventual cool-off in the conflict with Musk is an example of what might prompt an advisor to run for a board seat and the good that can come out of it.”

Play nice, Elon!

If there’s one person who’s received the most love – and hate – in 2022, it’s none other than Elon Musk. It’s so wonderful that Ross Gerber and Musk reconciled their differences. No egos in that online chat.

In typical spat style, Gerber bared his frustrated soul online before thousands of strangers, drumming up support for his side of the story, then reconciled by extracting promises from Musk that he certainly intends to keep. Crisis averted. 

And there’s the cameo appearance we’ve been waiting for by WSR’s very own CEO Larry Roth! Love it!

To read the full article by Jennifer Lea Reed in Financial Advisor, click here.

7) RIA Employee Charged With Murder, Could Get Death Penalty

“Ramy Hany Mounir Fahim, an employee at LPL Network RIA firm Pence Wealth Management, was arrested April 19 and charged with special circumstances murders for allegedly stabbing his co-worker Griffin Cuomo, 23, and Cuomo’s roommate, Jonathan Bahm, 23.”

“The next hearing for Fahim is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2023, according to the website of the Superior Court of California for Orange County.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

As my special show of love for you sticking around to the end, this one’s a bonus! It’s part of Think Advisor’s top five worst advisor crime cases of 2022, most of which you’ve already read about in this column.

But we haven’t mentioned Ramy Fahim’s ambush and double homicide until now. Nothing I could say would make this story more macabre.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

To read the full article by Jeff Berman in Think Advisor, click here.

James Miller, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at

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