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Broker Complaints: Stifel, Nicolaus & Co (CRD# 793)

The securities and investment fraud law firm of Fitapelli Kurta is investigating claims against broker-dealer firm, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Founded in 1900, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. is one of the oldest active broker-dealer firms in the nation. It was formed in Missouri in February, 1900 and its main office location remains in St. Louis, Missouri with branches in all fifty states. The firm employs around 2,000 financial advisors and brokers nationwide. Stifel, Nicolaus is registered with both the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. has received numerous complaints from FINRA in recent years. The following are only a few notable violations and complaints filed against Stifel or its’ brokers.

  • On September 22, 2014 FINRA fined Stifel, Nicolaus $300,000 for suspicious activity relating to penny stocks. According to FINRA, Stifel executed 2.5 billion shares of unsolicited penny stocks generating at least $320 million in proceeds. Additionally, at least 27 securities that Stifel traded at that time were later suspended by the SEC. Stifel did not have an anti-money laundering program in place at the time, exposing its customers to enormous risks, even higher than those already associated with penny stocks.
  • On January 9, 2014 Stifel was forced to pay $450,000 in restitution to customers when the firm allowed its brokers to recommend nontraditional ETFs to some of its customers without conducting adequate due diligence on the products.
  • On January 24, 2012 Stifel was fined over $1 million for failing to supervise one of its brokers who sold unregistered securities, failed to disclose material facts and made material misstatements to his customers about securities.
  • On August 10, 2011 the SEC charged Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. with executive fraud in sale of investments to Wisconsin School Districts. According to the SEC Complaint, Stifel and a former Stifel executive “convinced the School Districts to invest tens of millions of dollars of their own funds – plus funds borrowed by specially-created trusts – for a total investment of $200 million.”
  • On September 23, 2010, Stifel was charged $100,000 for failing to establish an effective supervisory system to ensure customers received appropriate discounts on eligible Unit Investment Trusts (UIT’s)

Stifel Nicolaus was ranked the worst broker-dealer firm in May 2013 by thinkadvisor.com. Stifel has received 105 regulatory events (usually in the form of customer complaints against brokers) and has been party to 40 arbitrations. Most of these disclosures have occurred within the past ten years. After over 100 years in the industry, it seems that Stifel Nicolas may be slipping. The countless violations and FINRA fines for failure to supervise as well as the increasing number of corrupt brokers in their midst should raise red flags for investors. For a full list of Stifel Nicolaus’ violations and information, see their BrokerCheck Report.

If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. or one of its’ brokers, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss. The experienced attorneys at Fitapelli Kurta can help you. Our firm prosecutes cases for investors nationwide on a contingency fee basis. Time is of the essence in these claims, so do not wait. Call now for your free consultation.