Tag Archives: stifel nicolaus finra problem

Stifel Nicolaus Ordered to Pay Elderly Couple For Puerto Rico Bond Losses

Over the past few years St. Louis based Stifel Nicolaus & Co. has faced a number of problem with regulators as well as actions filed by disgruntled customers, including:

  • In 2014, Stifel Nicolaus  was fined $60,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve securities regulator’s allegations that the improperly sold Puerto Rico junk bonds to retail investors by selling bonds below the minimum $100,000 denomination established by the issuer.
  • In February 2017, a FINRA arbitration panel in Dallas, Texas, awarded two former elderly customers over $117,000 for losses suffered as a result of having invested in Puerto Rico municipal bonds. Follow this link to the FINRA record of Stifel Nicolaus broker Robert Kyle Ratcliff. FINRA Case 15-03427, June and Perry Burns v Stifel Nicolaus.

Puerto Rico Debt Crisis

In early 2014, various credit rating agencies downgraded the debt of Puerto Rico to non investment grade, better known as junk status or speculative grade. This downgrade triggered acceleration clauses requiring the repayment of some debt within months, rather than years.

Puerto Rico has over $70 billion of outstanding debt, with a debt to GDP ratio of about 68%. While about $30 billion (42%) of Puerto Rico’s debt is owned by residents of Puerto Rico, the larger portion is owned by non-residents, primarily residents of the continental United States.

Investors who have suffered losses on Puerto Rico’s bonds purchased from a broker employed by Stifel Nicolaus & Co. may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Stifel Nicolaus Hit With $300,000 Fine by Securities Regulators

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) censured Stifel  Nicolaus & Company and assessed a $300,000 fine to resolve allegations that the firm failed to establish an adequate Anti Money Laundering (AML) program and failed to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system to achieve compliance with securities laws and rules.

FINRA found that from September 1, 2009 to December 31, 2013, Stifel Nicolaus executed unsolicited purchase and sales of at least 2.5 billion shares of ‘penny stocks”, generating at least $320 million in proceeds. FINRA found that the firm’s AML compliance program did not routinely monitor unsolicited penny stock trades and that they did not routinely conduct due diligence on penny stocks.

If you have questions about losses in an account that was handled by Stifel Nicolaus, contact us to learn how you may be entitled to damages.

Rex Securities Law provides nationwide representation to investors seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney. Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Rex Securities Law

561 391 1900

Stifel Nicolaus Broker Arhonda Guinn Discharged for Converting Customer Funds

Boca Raton, Florida

According to FINRA records,  Arhonda Guinn ,   a stockbroker who formerly worked for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.   discloses  a regulatory event and a termination from employment.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

To resolve allegations that she wrongfully converted $12,100 from a customer’s account for her own use and benefit, Arhonda T’Lene Guinn, who formerly worked for Stifel NIcolaus in Vero Beach, FL,  consented to an order barring her from the securities industry. The findings also state that Guinn falsified a Letter of Authorization the customer had previously signed to facilitate the wrongful transfer.

If you suffered damages in an account handled by Guinn, contact us to learn how you may be able to recover your losses.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Stifel Nicolaus Broker William Coolidge Barred by FINRA

By Robert H. Rex

William Bradford Coolidge (CRD #1636957, Registered Representative, Cordova, Tennessee) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Coolidge consented to the described sanction and to the entry of findings that he effected trades in elderly customers’ accounts without obtaining the customers’ prior written authorization and without his member firm’s acceptance of the accounts as discretionary. 

The findings stated that Coolidge implemented a trading strategy in elderly customers’ Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and individual accounts to switch mutual funds and unit investment trusts (UITs) to other mutual funds or UITs after holding the investments for a short time period. For one of these customers, in the customer’s IRA account, Coolidge effected mutual fund and UIT purchases and sales in the account after holding the investments for a short time period. Given the customers’ age, investment objectives, and risk profile or annual income, Coolidge’s recommendations were not suitable and were inconsistent with their account objectives. The elderly customers incurred losses totaling $195,127.37 and paid commissions totaling $168,091.21. ( FINRA Case #2012032916701)

According to FINRA records Coolidge, who is not currently registered, worked for Stifel, Nicolaus & Company from 3/2008-6/2012.

If you have questions about the way your brokerage account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney. 

Nationwide representation


561 391 1900

Stifel Nicolaus/Century Securities Fined Over ETF Sales

In January 2014, to resolve FINRA allegations that they had sold leveraged and inverse exchange traded funds (ETFs) to customers for whom the investments were unsuitable, Stifel Nicolaus & Co. and its subsidiary Century Securities, Inc. agreed to pay more than $1 million in fines and restitution.

Stifel sold about $641 million in nontraditional ETFs to retail investors from 2009 to 2013. Century sold about $31 million according to FINRA.

Leveraged and inverse ETFs are volatile and generally are not suitable for conservative investors.

If you have questions about your brokerage account, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney .

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870